Pushups are great, because once you know how to do them right, they employ your body’s weight to build strength, balance and flexibility, all without the need for any fancy fitness equipment.

Most of us who run, walk or do other aerobic activities, often tend to either overlook the importance of strength training or simply don’t care much for gyms and weights. Pushups are a key factor in this routine. The classic pushup and its many variations make for an excellent compromise here. Not only do they strengthen your arms and add definition to your upper body and back; they also require little else than an exercise mat and 20 minutes of your time. But sometimes a regular pushup gets mundane and it’s a good idea to add a variation to this routine with some twists.

An excellent workout that works on your chest, arms and shoulders along with your core is the Spiderman Pushup. For runners, swimmers and cyclists, the benefits of Spiderman pushups are plenty. This routine particularly impacts your pectoral muscles, triceps and deltoids, and engages your core as well. Besides, the leg movement, much like a lower ab crunch, is great for eradicating those pesky love handles.

Step-by-step

  • Begin from the plank position in a standard pushup. Your hands should fall under your shoulders while your body maintains a straight line.
  • As you bend and lower your upper body towards the floor, fold in your left knee so that it touches your left elbow.
  • Hold this pose for a count of ten seconds. Then straighten your arms and retrieve your left knee back to the original plank position.
  • Now repeat the same movement, this time using your right knee to touch the right elbow as you bend down. Hold for 10, before returning to plank.
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    You can easily perform the spiderman pushup in your living room, while setting your weights aside (Image:Lizziefit.com)
    You can easily perform the spiderman pushup in your living room, while setting your weights aside (Image:Lizziefit.com)

    This entire sequence makes up one repetition. On your first few attempts, try and complete 3-5 reps as slowly as possible, and concentrate on maintaining form. Once you’ve mastered the technique, incorporate 10-12 reps of the Spiderman pushup thrice a week, along with other strength-training workouts.

    Pro-tip
    A few things to keep in mind while attempting this pushup.

    Remember to keep your spine neutral and straight during all stages of the workout, and ensure that your knees are firm and high as you start.

    This pushup demands balance and co-ordination, putting additional stress on your core, so remember to engage your lower-back and lower-ab muscles. As you move your knee forward, don’t let your leg touch the ground.

    Breathing right is crucial. The benefits of spiderman pushups will not be outweighed by the effort to do it, when you are getting the right amount of oxygen. Exhale as your push yourself back up to the starting plank.

    Take it up a notch
    You can amp up this routine by adding a dynamic element to it. The Spidey crawl essentially follows the same technique, but involves moving forward as you switch knees. While it is a more challenging version, it is an effective full-body workout that engages your back, shoulders, chest, abs, glutes and quadriceps. However, it does require some extra workout space to be done effectively.

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