The pushup is a classic exercise for upper body development. Around the world, the pushup is a constant in combat training. In most commercial gyms, however, the pushup has taken a back seat to an array of fancy weight machines and equipment designed to keep people interested in fitness. The pushup reminds us that the best piece of exercise equipment we’ve been given is our own body. Perform these four variations of the proper pushup and you will see that this classic exercise is an effective tool in your training arsenal.
Begin in the pushup position with your arms straight, hands under your shoulders, and your core held tight. Your arms should be rotated so that the crease of your elbow faces forward. Keep your back straight, and lower your torso within two inches of the ground while keeping your elbows close to your body. Extend at your elbows to return to the original position.
FOUR ON THE FLOOR
The following four pushup variations are listed in order of difficulty, and they form a challenging workout. The ultimate goal is to perform 20 reps of each (80 total) in four minutes or less—with perfect form.
1. One Arm Raise Pushup
Complete a proper pushup. At the top of the motion, raise one arm in front of you. Lower your hand back to the floor, and then lower your body down for the next rep. Repeat using your opposite arm.
2. Warrior Pushup
Complete a proper pushup. Turn at your shoulders and reach one hand as high as possible toward the ceiling. Reverse the motion, return your hand to the ground, and return to your starting position. Repeat using your opposite arm.
3. Toe Kick Pushup
Complete a proper pushup. Turn at your shoulders and kick one foot under your body and as high as possible while touching your toe with your opposite hand. Lower your foot back to your original position. Repeat using your opposite arm and leg.
4. Hips Slap Pushup
Complete a proper pushup and extend at your elbows quickly so that both of your hands come off the floor at the top of the motion. Clap your hands against your thighs, lower your hands back to the floor, and lower your body down for your next rep.
If you want to learn more than 120 pushup variations and 80 pushup workouts, check out Martin’s Pushup Warrior app at trainingforwarriorsapps.com.