Know When To Change Levels
Staggered push-ups, AKA high and low push-ups, involve placing each hand at a different position where one is higher or further away compared to the other that remains in the standard position. This variation also increases the muscle activation of the external obliques due to the placement of the higher hand. Our hands are rarely in the same placement during jiu-jitsu, so this is excellent for it.
1. Get in the same starting position as in step 1 of the traditional push-up. Then place your left hand slightly above your left shoulder and your right hand slightly below your right shoulder so they are 4-6 inches apart.
2. Pull your elbows in toward your sides, lower your chest to just above the floor and push back up to the starting position.
3. Complete 1 set then alternate hand placement and do another set.
Prescription: As a warm-up: 5-10 reps on each side; as a workout: 1-2 sets of 10-25 reps on each side
Work The Guillotine
Yes, there really is a guillotine push-up, but instead of getting a deep chokehold on your opponent, you’ll be dropping your head and neck further. The movement is done from an elevated position where your hand is on two objects (chairs, bricks, medicine balls, etc.) and you are able to lower your head, neck and chest past the plane of your hands. This stretches the shoulders, while putting them to work more as well.
1. Either find an area where this movement can be done or set up the objects as illustrated. To make it more challenging you can add a third and even a fourth prop for your feet to rest on.
2. Place each of your hands on the prop nearest to them. Put your feet next to each other (or in the case of 4 medicine balls, one foot on each), post on your toes and straighten your arms and legs.
3. Pull your elbows in toward your sides, lower your chest past the objects and push back up to the starting position.
Prescription: As a warm-up: 10-15 reps; as a workout: 3-4 sets of 10-25 reps
Move Like A Spider
You may not have spider sense, but this move will have your body tingling with muscle spasms and shakes if done properly and enough times. It will also get your legs going up and down, back and forth, just like that spider guard you use in class.
1. Get into the traditional push-up position from earlier.
2. Begin lowering your body, and as you are doing so, lift one foot off the floor, abduct at the hip so your leg is sideways and try to touch your knee to your elbow.
3. Reverse the movement, while pushing your body back to the starting position.
4. Repeat on the opposite side, alternating each rep.
Prescription: As a warm-up: 10-12 reps; as a workout: 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps