The classic push up is a great way to build strength, balance and flexibility with our body weight alone. Not only does it strengthen your arms and add definition to your upper body and back; it also requires little else than an exercise mat and 20 minutes of your time. Besides, once you’ve mastered the standard push up, there are endless variations you can try out, each affecting and improving different muscles in your body.
Triceps are often among the trickiest to tone in our upper bodies, especially if we’re not regularly lifting weights or used to running and cycling workouts. Crouching tiger pushups not only help you work on your triceps, deltoids and trapezius but they also target the lower back muscles and core. You have to be at an intermediate stage at your pushup routine to attempt this, though people who are comfortably with certain yoga postures, especially the surya namaskar and downward dog, might find certain steps here familiar.
- Start in a push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your chest toward the floor; then, bend your knees and press back through your shoulders to bring your knees directly under your hips.
- Lift your hips to straighten your legs (like in downward dog).
- In the last step, perform a rolling wave, articulating the spine (drawing the navel toward the spine) to return to the start position. (This is a circular motion.)
- Repeat for 30 seconds or 8 to 10 reps.
Remember to bend your knees when you lower your chest to the floor. This activates your glutes and gives a better stretch to your calves and hamstrings in the next step.
You can take this routine up a notch or alternate it with the dive-bomber pushups, one of 20+ exercises that have automatic rep counting in mobiefit BODY. In this case, push back from plank into downward dog. Lower your head towards the floor, followed by the face, chest, and abs. Rise up to downward dog again to complete one rep.