What's one of the first exercises you think of when somebody mentions "bodyweight exercise"... the push-up, right?
Well, now it's time to take the humble push-up to another place and add in MOVEMENT.
What we're going to do is a push-up...then step the body directly to the side. Then another push-up, then step the body directly to the side, continuing until you either run out of floor space or you're ready to come back in the other direction.
This carries a few big benefits beyond just novelty.
1. Lateral movement patterns are generally underworked in most people.
Think of how often the exercises you're doing involve direct movement to the side. Most of them work your body straight up and down, right? This is especially true of upper body exercises. You're going to working your muscles in a way they've NEVER been worked before.
2. Developing core strength.
During the "walking" part of the movement, you'll be balancing on one arm and one foot, and shifting your weight over with explosive power. This will help develop core strength very effectively.
3. It's scalable for any training level.
You can do this one whether you're a complete beginner or a very advanced trainer. I'll demonstrate the beginner "on knees" version as well. It all comes down to body position and speed of movement.
How to do the Lateral Walking Push-Up
Let me just say, I HIGHLY recommend watching the video demonstration of this. The still pictures will give you an idea of how to do it but because it's very much a movement-based exercise, video shows the flow a lot better.
I'll demonstrate the more advanced version first here, moving onto the "starter" version after.
First, get in the top position of a push-up...with one difference. Your FEET should be further apart than normal...about a foot to a foot and a half or so.
Come down into the bottom of the push-up.
Now push back up powerfully out of the bottom...and as you do so, bring your left hand and left foot in towards the mid-line of your body.
Now your hands and feet are set right beside each other.
Step out to the right with your right hand and right foot at the same time.
And come straight down into the bottom position of the push-up again.
When you've gone as far as you can in one direction (or have gone as far as you want to), come back to the left, repeating the same pattern.
Hands and feet close together.
Then step out to the left at the same time.
Straight down into the push-up.
Then pop back up and into the hands-and-feet-together position and repeat.
Here's a direct back view of the exercise to help you see hand and foot placement.
This exercise is actually a lot of fun to do, once you get the coordination down. Take it slow at first then build up to some faster speeds and more power.
How to do The "Starter" Version
This is the same basic idea and movement pattern only done slower and with your knees on the ground instead of your feet. THIS is what makes it accessible to anyone!
Start with your hands in the push-up position, kneeling on the floor.
Come down into the push-up.
Come up and reach your right hand out to the side KEEPING your right knee on the ground for now.
Once your hand is set, shift your right knee over on the floor.
Come down into the push-up again.
Repeat this sequence in one direction, then back in the other direction to keep the workload balanced.
Here's the view from the back.
Notice how ONLY my hand steps over first.
THEN the knee moves over.
Then down into the push-up.
Then up then shift the left leg over, then bring the left hand over into the middle.
Then repeat the sequence. Once your hands are the middle, set the right hand over, then the right knee over then down into the push-up.
That's the exercise! This version takes a bit of practice and if you have gym mats, you'll likely be able to do it a bit faster than I did since I'm just doing it on straight concrete.
This is a very unique bodyweight movement that will challenge you to work in a very different movement pattern than what your body is used to. It's fun and challenging and is an excellent movement for targeting the core, developing upper body explosiveness and coordination.
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