How To Do A Downward Dog Push Up

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating a Downward Dog Push-Up

Downward Dog Push-Up is a move that strengthens your chest, arms, shoulders and core while stretching your back and hamstrings. Known for its amazing stretch, the Downward Dog is a yoga move that opens up the backside of your body. Adding a push-up to this throws the upper body strength bonus in and gives you an overall body exercise you will love. If you want better arms and a more flexible body you should learn how to do a Downward Dog Push-Up.

Make sure you practice a standard Push-Up before you start adding new elements. The Basic Push-Up is the best upper body exercise around. If you can do 8-10 good Push-Up, you are ready to add the Downward Dog Push-Up to your repertoire. The Downward Dog can also be done on its own any time you want a great stretch. By putting the two moves together you are multi-tasking your strength and your flexibility and you will walk away with your upper body feeling amazing.

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    How To Do A Downward Dog Push Up

    Here are the steps to performing a Downward Dog Push-Up:

    1) Begin with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart, and your hips raised so that your body forms an inverted V.

    2) Lower your hips to a push-up position. When your hips are parallel with the floor, perform a push-up. When you finish the push-up, raise your hips back up the position where they began so your body once again forms an inverted V.

    If you struggle with good alignment during your push-up, no problem! Just pull forward out of the Downward Dog, place your knees down on the floor ad then finish the push-up. A Kneeling Push-Up is always a great move! Be sure to breath as you move between the push-up and the Down Dog and keep your abs tight the entire time!

    [adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”hGTPWUIO” upload-date=”2017-10-25T17:37:07.000Z” name=”Down dog push up” description=”This variation on a yoga move combined with the classic bodyweight workout move, the push-up, is an excellent move to work your arms, abs, and obliques. Not only that, but it’s a perfect morning stretch to wake up your body, get your muscles moving and kick all your systems into gear!”]

    What Muscles Does A Downward Dog Push Up Work?

    Downward Dog Push Up is an awesome upper body move that works your chest, back, shoulders, arms and even your core! Downward Dog Push Up is also a great way to get a stretch for the entire backside of your body.

    Benefits of a Downward Dog Push Up

    There are many reasons you should incorporate Downward Dog Push Up into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    Stronger Upper Body

    Downward Dog Push Up is a challenging move for you upper body, working every muscle including chest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps. The blending of a strength move and a yoga pose provides an excellent method of strengthening and sculpting your upper body muscles.

    Stronger Core

    Downward Dog Push Up is a great challenge for your entire core. Push Ups alone rely on core strength, but adding the downward dog motion and moving between the two is even more of a challenge. Your entire abdominal wall will need to pull in and you’ll feel how your lower back muscles engage as well.

    Stretch and Release

    Downward Dog Push Up is a great way to get a stretch on the entire backside of your body. From your feet, through your calves, hamstrings and back – all of these backside muscles are released and in a slow, repetitive motion. Each time you press back you will be able to stretch just a little deeper.

    How Many Calories Do Downward Dog Push Ups Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at moderate to high intensity. Downward Dog Push-Ups are muscle-based and should be done slowly. This means you may not get the calorie burn you would in a big plyometric move or a cardio exercise, but keep in mind you are building your body to burn calories better!

    Other Exercises Similar to Downward Dog Push Up

    If you like the Downward Dog Push Up and the results you are getting, here are a few more exercises you might want to try.

    1. How To Do Push Up T
    2. How To Do Dolphin Dive
    3. How To Do Tripod

    Incorporating Downward Dog Push Ups Into Your Workouts

    Downward Dog Push Up is a great strength and stretch exercise all on its own! However, you could also incorporate Downward Dog Push Ups into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to get you started.

    Use Downward Dog Push Up in a Circuit Strength Workout

    Circuit workouts are a fun way to get a full body workout while the time zooms by quickly. By moving from one circuit to another, you keep your mind and body challenged and get a head to toe workout.

    Full Body At Home Circuit Workout

    For this workout you will need a medium pair of dumbbells. The circuits are listed in order. Go from one exercise to the next with as little time in between as possible. Once you get to the end, repeat the entire sequence.

    Plank to Upright Row – 12 reps

    Plie V-Raise – 12 Reps

    Downward Dog Push Ups – 12 Reps

    Squat and Swing – 12 Reps

    Renegade Rows – 12 Reps

    Dips and Kicks – 12 Reps


    Use Downward Dog Push Up in a Yoga Workout

    Yoga is known for building strength and calm as well as stretching your muscles and connective tissue. Downward Dog Push Up is a great move to incorporate into a yoga practice in order to add that extra boost of strength. Check it out in our Day Starter Yoga Strength Workout:

    Day Starter Yoga Strength Workout

    This invigorating yoga sequence is a great way to wake up and start the day! All you need is a mat or a little space to move.

    Stand in Mountain pose with your eyes closed and take 5 deep breaths. Then flow between mountain and Yogi Squat 5 times.

    Mountain Pose

    Yogi Squat

    Then step wide and go down into Sun God and lift up 5 times with deep breaths.

    Sun God

    Move back to Mountain Pose and flow through the following 5 times:

    Mountain Pose

    Forward Fold

    Monkey Pose

    Plank Pose


    Up Dog

    Downward Dog

    Now hold Downward Dog for 5 breaths, then flow into 5 downward dog push ups:

    Downward Dog Push Up

    Step your feet through and sit down and do each of the following for 3-5 breaths:

    Boat Pose

    Reverse Table Top

    Seated Forward Fold

    Happy Baby

    Now go and enjoy a day full of energy!!!!

    Use Downward Dog Push Up in an Upper Body Challenge

    Downward Dog Push Ups give you strong arms! When you combine this move with other upper body strength exercises especially when combined with other challenging upper body moves. Try Downward Dog Push Ups in this awesome Upper Body Challenge workout that you can do at home with a simple pair of dumbbells and body weight.

    Upper Body Strength At Home Challenge

    Grab a medium pair of dumbbells and go from one move directly to the next.

    Arnold Press – 10 reps

    Tricep Dips – 12 reps

    Shoulder Tap Push Ups – 12 reps

    Bicep Curl Cross Behind Lunge – 12 Reps (alternating)

    Downward Dog Push Ups – 12 Reps

    Overhead Shoulder Press – 12 Reps

    Overhead Pulls – 12 Reps

    Renegade Rows – 12 Reps (alternating)

    Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate Downward Dog Push Ups:

    15 Push Up Variations You’re Going To Want To Try

    15 Minute Bodyweight Workout To Start Your Day

    Targets: chest, arms, shoulders, back, core

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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