Push-ups are an exercise staple, but sometimes you need to spice up the basics. My Equinox trainer's prescription for getting over the push-up blahs is to toss a medicine ball, or two, or three into the mix. Here's a progression Lauren taught me in my last training session. It's fun. It's challenging. And it might just make you feel like you're rehearsing a circus act.
This move makes me feel like a human pinball machine and is a simple way to work different muscles by varying your arm position and to get more core work out of the move.
Gear needed: one medium-sized, hard medicine ball
- Start in a plank position with your right hand on the medicine ball. The wider your feet, the easier the exercise. Remember, you can always try this on your knees.
- Bend your elbows, lowering yourself toward the ground. Push yourself up returning to your plank.
- Using your right hand, pass the medicine ball to the left side. Place your left hand on top of the ball and repeat the push-up.
- This completes one rep. Do five to seven reps for a set.
Ready to try the more advanced variations? Then keep on reading.
Double Medicine Ball Push-Up
Balancing both hands on the balls makes part of your base unstable, forcing your core to work more.
Gear needed: two small, hard medicine balls
- Place a medicine ball under each hand. Widen your feet for extra stability.
- Inhale, bend your elbows, lowering yourself to the ground.
- Exhale and straighten your elbows, returning to the top of your push-up. If you need to work up to this exercise, try it with your knees on the floor.
- This completes one rep. Do 10 to 15 reps.
For the ultimate challenge of core stability, you must try the advanced version.
Triple Medicine Ball Push-Up
It is hard not to feel like you're performing a circus trick with this one. It's superchallenging, but all the more gratifying when you master the move.
Gear needed: one medium-sized, hard medicine ball and two small, hard medicine balls
- Place your hands on the small medicine balls. Feel your upper-body stance firmly established before placing your toes on the medium medicine ball. Squeeze your inner thighs together to help center your weight.
- When you feel stable, bend your elbows, lowering yourself to the ground.
- Exhale and straighten your elbows, returning to your plank.
- This completes one rep. Your goal is to do five reps. If you master this on your first try, I crown you push-up master.