I don’t think you can get a much bigger bang for your buck exercise than pushups. While they work every muscle in the body, they are also joint friendly so they allow for a nice way to get a lot of training volume for the upper body while also moving your shoulders, elbows, and wrists through full ranges of motion.
No matter how strong you are, there is always a variation that will challenge you and get you even stronger. Pushup variations are like my non existent children: I love them all equally, but at any given time, I like one just a little bit more than the others. One of my current favorites is this combo:
Full disclosure, I probably stole it from my buddy Ben Bruno, who’s a wizard when it comes up to adding subtle tweaks to old staples to keep them challenging and fun. Ben puts out a ton of great content on his Facebook and Instagram, and he’s a lot more creative than me, so it wouldn’t be surprising if I saw this at some point on one of his pages decided to play with it in the first place.
What I really like about these is the added shoulder and core stimulus with the rollout added in. You can do these with a Valslide, furniture slider, or even a towel if you’re doing them on on a hardwood floor.
A quick tip: as you lower yourself into the pushup, think about reaching over your head rather than sliding it. With my clients, the concept of reaching seems to help them keep tension throughout the entire body rather than sag through the middle.
I like hitting 3-5 sets of 3-6/side. These are super tough, and the surface you perform them on will have an impact based on how easily you can slide on it, so start on the lower end and build from there.
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