Sunday, 28 February 2010

Push Ups: A Full Body Workout


If you've already had experience of doing push ups, you may well know how it's great for your abdominals. Your arms may be doing the actual movement and bearing part or all of your weight, but it takes some doing to keep your body in a plank-like state as you go through even one push up movement. Just hold yourself at any stage of the push up, and you feel pressure on your core, even if it's just a little bit. How much pressure though? Yet again, it depends on the type of push up, and it appears that the more advanced and suspended push up variations intensify the level of challenge on the abdominal muscles.

According to results published by Beach et al 2008, a standard push up resulted in an average of 13.9% of the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) in the rectus abdominis, 15.6% of the MVIC in the external obliques and 18.2% of the MVIC in the external obliques. In the suspended push up type, the contractions on each of these muscles increased significantly with a noted 184% increase in the average rectus abdominis isometric muscle contractility. In short, that means push up variations like the thumb push ups, the one arm push ups and the planche push ups will rely more on just your arm strength, but your core strength. I'm guessing you already know this, so it wouldn't be too surprising that I personal rate the push up as the best full bodyweight exercise.

Click here to get the Full 21 PUSH UP Types list.

T.A.C. Beach et al. / Human Movement Science 27 (2008) 457–472

Sunday, 21 February 2010

So, you can do the push up? Which one though?

“Get down, and give me 20” says the instructor. You know what he wants you to do. Push ups are definitely in order, however, what he doesn't tell you is which push up to do. He assumes you know that you're going to do the classic form. Right? Do you know the difference between the classic push up, the wide arm push up, the pike and straddle planche forms? That's just for starters. You may or may not be surprised that there are at least twenty-one different forms and those are the ones that I've counted so far. You won't just be working the chest area either. Some rely heavily on the core, whilst others rely more on the arms, back and shoulders. Which ones from the list can you do already? If you read my last post, you'll realise I'm only at entry level (if you can even call it that). So feel free to let me know what level push ups you can do and how long it took you to be able to them.

Here they are in general order from easiest to hardest:

Wall Push Ups
Knee Push Ups
Inclined Push Ups
Classic Push Ups
Declined Push Ups
Wide Arm Push Ups
Diamond Push Ups
Hindu Push Ups
Medicine Ball Push Ups
Divebomber Push Ups
One legged push up
Push Up Claps
One Arm Push Ups
Thumb Push Ups
Spiderman push ups
Sliding spiderman push ups
Superman push ups (for your back muscles)
Pike Push Ups
One legged, one armed push ups
Straddle Planche to Push Up
Planche Push Ups
Handstand push ups

Click here to get PART ONE of the PUSH UP GUIDE with descriptions and video links.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

If you can't do a single push up

If you can't do a single full push up, you're like me. Well, hopefully that will all change by doing negative push ups. Follow my day-to-day diary to achieve a full push up as I update it here.

If you can already do the push up, why not try a challenge:
One hundred push ups  (
One thousand push ups


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

An introduction to Urbantri

It's striking how much people prefer to clamour into a gym when all one needs is a bit of floor space for bodyweight exercises, or a quiet block to run round, not to mention that exercising within the home is the cheaper alternative to the gym.

I am sure that I'm not the only one who enjoys watching those who do things like the L-kick, the planche, the elbow lever, the dash vault, the splits, the spinning inside crescent kick, headstand and so on. However, the moves I just mentioned are found throughout several sports. Tricking is one of the few athletic endeavours that seems to be comprised of other sports as well as standing as a sport within itself. Therefore, Urbantri (or urban tricks) is my way of labelling all these moves into one category, as I love them ALL.

Sports include (but aren't limited to)
  • Parkour
  • Free running
  • Wushu
  • Capoeira
  • Martial Arts
  • Tricking
  • Contortionism
  • Bodyweight calisthenics
  • Dancing (eg. breakdancing)
  • Gymnastics
  • Running (yes, that requires nothing except maybe good running shoes, and clothes, obviously)
I will research and post each sport and as many of their moves/exercises as I can as well as my attempts at some of the beginner level ones.