Pushups are the gold standard in bodyweight training and at home. In fact, they probably deserve to be the first exercise from toddler to senior. They don't require any special skills or genetic predispositions at any level, they are adaptable to almost any situation, and they never let you down, get easier, or cease to be useful.
My grandfather, a veteran, would get up every morning until he died at the age of 94 and hit 20 pushups before we did anything else. No excuses. Do push-ups.
Increase your push up game
The Spiderman push-up is a variant that not only gets you out of your rut if a push-up bores you or doesn't give you the sense of achievement you long for, but also offers a full-body workout that hits a trifecta of strength, endurance and Agility in a movement that is difficult to control.
There are a few things that you need to consider before getting on this move:
- They effectively hold a perfect plank position, top and bottom handles, throughout the position. That means, whether you are in the up position of the push-up or in the down position, you are maintaining a straight line from head to buttocks, you are not dropping your pelvis so it looks like you are about to hump the floor and you will feel tension through the length of your body. Just remember to avoid straining your lower back
- Your elbows don't try to escape and stay in place by your side throughout the movement. This is exactly what they try to do when you feel tired or lack the flexibility to get your knees in the right position. You want to feel the power build up through your arms and upper body, and then conquer those elbows
- You will open your hips at some point, meaning that you have an antagonistic interaction that takes place between the tension in your body and the loose movement of your leg that opens up as your knees move towards your elbow. You want your lower body to be included, not left out. Therefore, when you raise your knees, focus on the shape and strength of your legs
- You need to think of this exercise as both unilateral and bilateral as it goes both ways. So try to feel the shifts in movement and tension through your body and react to the forces that are at play. You want to create variations that change the needs of this exercise and then you want to know the flow of movements
With that in mind, the instructions in this video are straightforward. As I said earlier, this is not a complicated exercise, but when you think about the technique and form requirements, there are many challenges you have to overcome to complete them.
When you're ready, you can make a pretty strong case for building a full, high-intensity workout around the Spiderman push-up. Change the pace to controlled, slower movements and you'll create constant tension in your muscles to emphasize more strength.
Pick up the pace while maintaining rigorous form and you should be able to create a strenuous full body HIIT workout. Do it casually, including to warm up, and you could move all of your joints and feel them open up a little.
Just keep that strong line that runs through your torso so that you don't twist or collapse at any point. Otherwise, adjust the rep regimen, your rest time between sets, or whatever so you don't blow away unnecessarily.
The key to bodyweight exercises (especially pushups) is how you can sit in the driver's seat and make them what you want.
The Spiderman push up is pretty good at giving you feedback on your entire body, and it can probably teach you a little more about yourself and your weaknesses and strengths.