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Alternating T Push-ups

By RealJock Staff

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.

The T push-up variation offers all of the benefits of the standard push-up, plus the added benefit of training your balance and coordination. Focus on power, strong quick movements and—most important—maintaining proper form throughout.

Muscles worked

Starting position
Position yourself face down on the floor with your arms straight and your hands and toes supporting your body. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe and your arms slightly more than shoulder width apart (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, lower down into a classic push-up, then press up from the floor (see Photo 2).
  2. As you press up from the floor, rock up onto your left hand and bring your right hand off the floor. Your feet should turn so that your are supported on the outside of your left foot and inside of your right foot. Bring your right hand up above your head so that your body is in a T position. Your body should stay in a straight line from your feet to your armpit (see Photos 3 and 4).
  3. As soon as you achieve the T position, reverse direction and bring your right hand back to the floor, go right down into your next push-up, and then go back up into the T position on your other side with your left hand up in the air (see Photo 5).
Smith Machine or Flat Bench Variation
If you find these push-ups too challenging, try them with your hands raised on a Smith machine bar or on a flat bench. This takes some of the load off your pecs, making the exercise easier.

Side-to-Side Foot Variation
To increase the level of difficulty, try starting with your feet right next to each other and then stacking one foot on top of the other when you roll up to a T position. This will train your balance and coordination.

About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.