Push ups were my worst enemy when I was young, simply because I could never do them, and so would dread whenever they came up in gym class or as part of a sports team. It was a little embarrassing being only maybe one of three dudes who would fail every aspect of the presidential fitness exam.
But then came my enlightenment when I asked my middle school football coach how I could get better at push ups. “Do push ups,” he told me. It was the best advice I had ever received. Can you imagine? If you want to get better at something, you have to actually DO that something. Who’d have thought?
So I then decided, of all things, to start practicing push ups as much as I could throughout the day. They were the exercise that got me into exercising, long before I ever touched a kettlebell. And it wasn’t long until I could not only do push ups, but could do more push ups than anybody in gym class, or on the football team. (This didn’t necessarily earn me a spot on the starting line up, but it did return at least some of my dignity.)
To this day, I still have my daily push up quota. They really are such a useful and tremendous exercise. Because aside from push ups adding muscle and strength onto your upper body, they can also be used for mobility, stability, and core conditioning. Plus, the variations are endless. Different angles make for new and exciting challenges, and eventually you can move onto single arm push ups for an even greater test of strength.
But in the meantime, here’s a complex I have gotten many miles out of throughout the years. This one works everything–strength, mobility, muscle endurance, you name it. And it’s a pretty simple flow: Dive bombers ==> conventional push up ==> Hindu push up. You start with the hardest variation and end with the easiest, so it works like a drop set, almost.
Do five to seven rounds, resting only a minute between. That’s a full workout. Otherwise, you can also entertain yourself by working this flow randomly throughout the day, or as a finisher to your next upper body day.
The “No Pecs, No Sex” Push Up Complex
PS – BIG sale going on for my “super-happy-fun-time” online kettlebell workout club today.