Dolphin Pushup

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
October 06, 2011

Dolphin Pushup is a little known exercise to increase core strength. By bucking your body up in the air, while also resting on your elbows, you engage the core muscles in a very unique way. Dolphin Pushup not only strengthens the core muscles however, it also is a great exercise for your upper back and shoulders. One of the reasons I love the dolphin pushup so much is because it incorporates variety into your routine. To learn more about why variety is so important to building strength, here’s a great articled for you to check out called: For Maximum Muscle and Minimum Fat, Your Workouts Must Incorporate Both Variability and Consistency.

How To Do A Dolphin Pushup:

In order to properly perform a Dolphin Pushup, rest on the ground with your elbows and toes supporting your body. Your abs and core will be about 3-4 inches off the ground. Next, buck your buttocks high into the air. Your body will look like a “V” or the back of a dolphin as it jumps out of the water. Lower your body back to starting position.

Muscle group worked:

abs, low back, core, upper back, shoulders,

Target Repetitions for Muscle Growth: 6-8

Target Repetitions for Muscle Tone/Endurance: 8-12

Why Dolphin Pushups work:

The reason that the Dolphin Pushup works so well, is because of two reason. The first is the placement of your elbows. By resting on your elbows (and not your hands) you can place greater focus on your core muscle groups. The second reason is the engagement of your low back muscles and abs to lift your core into the air.


While you lower yourself down to the ground during the Dolphin Pushup, do it slowly. This will engage the core muscle groups more effectively and give you a better workout.


Breath out as your core goes into the air. Breath in as your lower your body back toward the ground.

Disclaimer: Talk to your primary care physician before beginning any exercise regimen.

Knee health score 3
Show/Hide Comments (2 comments)
  1. Mike Luca

    Thanks, Lydia!

  2. Lydia

    “The reason that the Dolphin Pushup works so well, is because of two reason.” should be “because of two reasons.”

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