How To Do The Divebomber Press-Up

Man and women do the divebomber press-up
(Image credit: Getty Images / 10'000 Hours)

There is no shortage of great press-up variations that you can use to work the muscles in your upper body in different ways from the classic exercise, but it’s rarer to find variations that also work the lower body.

The divebomber press-up is one such variation, although it is fair to say that it stretches the legs and lower back rather than strengthening the muscles. The move is effectively a combination of a couple of stretches and a classic press-up, since you start in downward-facing dog position and transition via a press-up to a lower back stretch.

As with all press-ups, the divebomber strengthens the chest, triceps and shoulder muscles, while also engaging your core. The swooping movement means the shoulders work a little harder than in the classic press-up, while the stretches you do during the exercise primarily target the hamstrings, calves and lower back.

The combination of stretching and strength makes the divebomber press-up a useful addition to any warm-up ahead of a weightlifting session, as well as being an effective bodyweight chest exercise in its own right. 

How To Do The Divebomber Press-Up

Start in a standard press-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. From there pike your hips upwards and move into a downward-facing dog pose, keeping your arms and legs straight with your head between your arms. 

Then “dive” towards the floor as if you were trying to push a ball forwards with your nose, so your chest almost touches the surface as it comes down and through your arms. Lower until your hips and legs are hovering just above the floor, then lift your head and chest up to stretch your lower back. Slowly reverse the movement to come back to the inverted V starting position.

It’s best to move slowly when performing the divebomber press-up even when you are accustomed to the technique. This will ensure your muscles spend plenty of time under tension and increase the benefits of the stretch sections of the move.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.