Start with your hands under your shoulders and toes on the ground. The start to this exercise is very similar to the plank from last week’s “Movement Monday”. With your legs straight and weight between your hands and toes, lower your body to the ground while maintaining a nice straight line between your shoulders, hips and ankles. Your chest should touch the ground. If you need to make it easier, no big deal, just go down to your knees. You should be mindful of your shoulders, if you find them up close to your ears you need to pull them down, the goal here is to have your shoulders down throughout the whole movement.
Medicine Ball Alt Push-ups
With one hand on a medicine ball and the other on the ground, start with your weight between those two points and your toes. Lower your chest to the ground and push-up evenly between the ball and the ground. While doing this be sure to maintain that straight line between your shoulders, hips and toes. At the top of the movement slide the ball over to the other side and repeat.
Using the flat side of a BOSU ball place your hands on the edge, from your toes lower your chest to the ball and push back up. You will find that you’re a little bit shaky this will get better. Concentrate on keeping the BOSU ball level, the shaking will work it’s way out.
Double Bosu Push-Ups
This time we’re going to try the BOSU Push-Up with two balls. Place your hands in the middle of each BOSU ball spread your weight evenly through your hands and your toes. Lower your chest to the BOSU balls and push-up. Be sure you’re comfortable doing a BOSU Push-Ups for 15 reps before trying this one.
We’re going to add a Swiss ball into the mix, this will create a little instability in the movement. When doing something like this be sure that you can keep your core tight for the entire movement. You should be very comfortable in a plank and be comfortable doing 15 push-ups.With your hands on the outside of a swiss ball squeeze the ball, from your toes lower your chest to the ball. And push up. You will be very unstable at first concentrate on keeping your core tight and the stability will follow when your chest strength catches up!
Here’s a fun push-pull exercise. With two dumbbells on the ground place your hands on the dumbbells, assume that all too common push-up position. The dumbbells should be at shoulder width, lower your chest to the ground and push-up to the starting position. Now pull one dumbbell up to your rib cage. Your elbow should stay close to your side while pulling. You will find that your hips turn when you first pull the dumbbell, be sure to keep your hips square to the ground. Return the dumbbell under your shoulder, repeat the push-up and pull the other side. This is a great exercise if you’re short for time, as it is a great chest and back exercise as well as a challenging one for core strength.