Luckily, there are many ways to modify this exercise to build strength.
Keeping a plank is tough but pushups on toes? It can seem almost impossible if you were in a fitness break. Luckily, there are many ways to modify the movement to build strength. Case in point: This fun and effective twist on Gregg Cook, Trainer for Daily Burn 365.
If a child's pose and push-ups had a baby, it would look like this. The half-kneeling split push-up (this is not a mouth full!) Will train your chest, shoulders, and triceps, Cook says. Why is that moving rather than lifting weights to pump the upper body? This modified push-up "can help increase the power of the muscles when thrusting," says Cook, noting that many gymnasts can not exercise full range of motion for a normal push-up. (Look at you, people who sink only a few inches!) If that sounds familiar, you could seriously cheat on yourself during your workout.
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With this step, everything changes. As you are on your knees, you reduce the body weight you push off the ground. "It reduces the strain compared to a full push-up," says Cook, who can help you lower yourself to the bottom and successfully back up. It is this range of motion that is integral to increasing your strength, he says.
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And do not forget about the pose of the quasi-child you're doing as soon as you're knocked off the floor are. This provides a little break for your muscles to recover, says Cook. When you move your hips backwards with outstretched arms, you get a nice stretch in your inner thighs and back (especially your lats).
GIF: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365
Try Now: Half Kneeling Split Push Ups
How to: Use a mat under you, start with your hands and knees, with straight arms and wrists straight under the shoulders (a) . Extend your right leg to the side. Your hips should be over your knees (b) . Next, lower your upper body down toward the floor as you inhale. Slowly bend your elbows and lay your chest on the floor as you guide a straight line from the top of your head to your knees (c) . Next, exhale and push up, attacking your chest and core. Remember to push the floor away while keeping your elbows close to your sides. (Do not let your body distract you too much.) (d) Now, put your hips backwards into the child's pose and keep your right leg to one side. You should be back as far as possible while fully extending your arms to get a nice backstretch. Rise to Starting Position (e)
This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com. Want full, no equipment workouts from Cook? Catch it on DailyBurn.com/365, free for 30 days.
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