The 5: The Perfect (and free) Push-UpPosted on Apr 15th 2008 1:38PM by Chris Sparling
Although I've yet to actually try it, The Perfect Push-Up seems like one of the better fitness gizmos being hawked on TV these days. Since it's really just a variation on the traditional push-up, I suppose it has to be effective (although, I do wonder if the twisting motion with the hands places undue stress on the rotator cuff). But is it really necessary to dole out money to vary a push-up? Are there ways of doing so without spending a dime? Of course there are.
Every day, I come across a new way to perform a push-up. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but suffice it to say that I come across them quite often. Here are five variations to the traditional push-up that you may want to try, all of which cost zero dollars but make good fitness sense (sorry for the pun. I couldn't resist). Oh, and by the way, click on each of the exercises if you'd like to see a video demonstration.
1.) Plyometric Push-Ups. Very Rocky-esque move where you thrust your body upward, to the point where your hands leave the ground. Throw in a hand clap before hitting the ground and you may be ready to take on Drago.
2.) One-Armed Push-Ups. The Jack Palance at the Oscars move. Very, very difficult. Don't be discouraged if you can only do a few -- if any at all. Although, Jack Palance was about 125 years old when he did his. I'm just saying ...
3.) Spider-Man Push-Ups. That's a lot of hyphens. It's also a great way to work your chest and triceps with this climbing-type move. You can either do it while remaining in one place, or you can 'spider crawl' your way across the floor. My only suggestion is that you don't wear Spider-Man underoos while you do it, as it may get you tossed from your gym.
4.) Handstand Push-Ups. Frankly, I don't even know why I'm bothering to mention this one, since my guess is that only .0000001 percent of the world population can even do them (and, believe me, I'm not one of them!). Then again, it serves as an example of just how varied a standard exercise like the push-up can actually become. It also demonstrates the amazing potential of the human body.
5.) Leg-Raised Push-Ups. As the name indicates, this variation of the push-up involves keeping one leg raised in the air. Using this posture requires more core strength than a standard push-up, so you may want to incorporate it into your routine. Be sure to switch legs at some point to ensure that you work your body evenly.
There are dozens of other push-up variations (Hindu push-ups, Bosu push-ups, Swiss ball push-ups, breakdancing push-ups, etc.), but this is enough for now. Like I said earlier, The Perfect Push-Up may be a worthwhile product, but if you're looking for variety, there are more than enough free options available.