Embrace the Push-up

 Posted by on 01/23/2012
Jan 232012
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I'm not talking about this push-up...

This is the one exercises I think about when I hear the words physical education.  I remember hearing my PE teacher yelling out, “Drop down and give me 10!” That was a lot for a kid who was only in elementary.  Then as I started to play sports, push-ups became a punishment along with gassers.  I hated push-ups.

My relationship with push-ups since then has blossomed into mutual respect.  It has grown so much that now I embrace the push-up even more and try to take it to the next level. I researched around and soon found others who have similar interests.  They’ve taken one of the most simplistic exercises we’ve been doing since physical education and added their own way of embracing the push-up.

First here’s a quick overview of how to exactly perform a push-up:
1. Place hands on the ground just outside of shoulder width on the floor
2. Lower yourself by bending at the elbows keeping them at a 45-degree angle to your body
3. Keep your body rigid throughout the movement with your abs tight and glutes squeezed
4. Lower till your chest comes close to the group and return back to the starting position.

Now that we got the boring things out of the way. Let’s get to the fun part. There are many variations of push-up that will challenge anyone. I’m going to show you my top push-up variations that you can add to your routine. Prepare yourself to embrace the Push-up.

Siderman Push-ups
I’ll start off slow. Here’s a Spiderman Push-up that will increase core strength while still challenging the chest. Just imagine you are Spiderman scaling up a building. To make it even more of a challenge, perform traveling Spiderman Push-ups.

Plank Push-ups
We all know the importance that planks play in when it comes to core strength and stabilization. So why not add a push-up into the mix to increase the challenge. You can do these for reps or time:

High Incline Push-up
These babies are a great way to add difficulty and get more emphasis work on the shoulders. The higher the elevation the more you will use your shoulders:

Stability Ball Push-ups
This exercise is a great challenge that will build upperbody strength, core strength, and shoulder stabilization. Ben Bruno, the dude in this video, uses a weighted vest. I would recommend to start with just your body weight. Add a vest when you reach “beast-mode” status like Ben.

Med Ball Push-ups
This exercise has different levels. I’m going to show you three different variations that you can progress to. Make sure you build up to each level. These push-up are great for core and shoulder stabilization. Here are the 3 different levels:

TFW 30 the “Hard Way”
I call Martin Rooney, the push-up man. He does all sorts of push-up variations and crushes them out. This variation will challenge anyone. Before you try this exercise, I would recommend you become comfortable with all of the exercises shown above. If not, then you have no place in doing this exercise.

Closing Thoughts
This is just skimming the surface of variations. These are the variations that I’ve tried and think are a great start to taking simplicity to complexity. So set the conventional push-up to the side for now and be adventurous by trying something new.

Special thanks for providing awesome videos (check out their sites):
Ben Bruno
Joe Defranco
Martin Rooney
Eric Cressey


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