This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Intensify the push-up by putting it over a stability ball and adding a pike, which combines a shoulder challenge with core strength.
Chest, Core, Shoulders
Take up a plank or push-up position with hands on the floor, arms extended with shoulders over hands, and feet on a stability ball. Your shoelaces should be on the ball, and your spine should be neutral, so that you are flat from feet to head.
- From the starting position, perform a push-up, bringing your chest to the floor while your back remains in a natural 'S' curve.
- Press up out of the push-up and bring your hips up to the ceiling in a pike position. Keep your weight over your hands as though going into a handstand; your toes will stay on the ball as you fold at the hip.
- Control the descent of your hip back to the starting position, allowing your feet to slide back to the shoelaces-on-ball position.
If you find it too challenging to do alternate pikes and pushups, you can modify the exercise so that you first do a set of 6 to 10 pikes, rest a bit, and then do a set of 6 to 10 pushups with your feet on ball. For there you can progress to doing all of the pikes followed by all of the pushups without resting in between, until you have built enough strength and coordination to move on to the alternating form.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is co-founder of the award-winning Diakadi Body personal training gym and creators of RealJock's 12-week Workout Programs. Billy is a certified Level 1 Practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach through the Paul Chek Institute as well as a Certified Personal Trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. Have burning questions about your fitness that you want Billy and Diakadi co-founder Mike Clausen to answer? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.