Okay, I admit it. The traditional push-up isn’t the most exciting exercise you can do. If the push-up was a US interstate, it’d probably be I-80. When we travel through the Midwest and I see that I-80 is on our RV route, I grumble, “Aren’t there alternatives to I-80?” Sort of like when I’m faced with the push-up, aren’t there alternatives to that? Turns out, in both accounts, yes there are!
Here are 3 fun variations you can try; all with the added bonus of tightening your tummy. The push-up position is an excellent core strength builder. In fact, if you do pushups (or variations of pushups) regularly, you never have to do another crunch again. Most importantly, strengthening your core using push-up variations will help stabilize your spine, which is vital for your spine’s health. Normal crunches don’t do that.
In the photos, I’m demonstrating the advanced versions, but don’t be discouraged, newbies! All 3 of these can be made easier simply by placing your hands on the edge of your bed instead of on the ground. Add these exercises to your regular workout routine and watch your midsection transform! Full body exercises like these also burn the most calories…and, of course, no equipment necessary makes them RV travel friendly.
Begin in regular pushup position. Bring your left knee up under the chest (make sure the foot doesn’t touch the ground), and then return the left leg to its original position. Next, turn your shoulders and lift your left arm as high as possible towards the ceiling. Return to regular pushup position. Repeat the entire sequence on your right side. Continue alternating right and left sides until you’ve done 5 on each side.
Start with your hips high in the air (closely resembling “downward facing dog” yoga position) and your feet wide apart, so that your body forms an upside-down “V.” Keep your head down so you don’t strain your neck. Bend your elbows as you swoop your hips down slowly, until you end up in the second position by raising your head up, straightening your arms, and arching your back (resembling the “upward facing dog” yoga position). Push your hips back up to the start position, keeping your arms straight this time. The only time you bend your elbows is while you are bringing your hips down, not on the way back up. See if you can do 10 in a row.
Get in the regular pushup position to start. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor, while simultaneously lifting your right foot off the floor and driving your right knee out sideways. Try to touch your knee to your right arm. Straighten your arms and push your body back to the start position. Perform the next repetition on your left side. Continue alternating right and left sides until you’ve done 5 on each side.
Note: Spider Push-Ups are quite difficult, but they are easily adapted. If it’s too hard to bend your elbows and lower your body, DON’T! You can do these keeping your arms straight the entire time, and you’ll still get a killer core workout.