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.
Try this great variation on the old favorite push-up to help increase the amount of weight you can lift in your traditional chest exercises. By using the stability ball, you use micro-changes in balance to strengthen your stabilizer muscles in your shoulders and consequently push your chest muscles further.
Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the top of the sides of stability ball in push-up position with your chest directly over the top of the ball. Step your feet up onto a flat bench so that your body flattens out into push-up position parallel to floor. Your abdominals should be held in so that your stomach does not dip, and your back should be flat so that your buttocks do not come up. Squeeze in on the ball with both hands as if you are trying to pop it in order to fully engage your chest muscles throughout the motion (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, drop down into a push-up, keeping your abdominals engaged as you descend (see Photo 2).
- At the bottom of your motion, reverse direction and push back up to the plank position (see Photo 3). Do 12 push-ups for a complete set.
If you have too much trouble doing this exercise with your feet on the flat bench, try it with your feet on the floor. This will allow you to balance more easily and will take some of the weight off your chest muscles.
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.