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.
Invert a push-up to take your chest and shoulders to a new dimension. With a medicine ball under your chest in push-up position, blast off the floor with both hands and land with them on the ball; then jump your hands back to the floor. You'll get the benefits of a push-up with an added core challengeuse your center to help hold your position as you push off the floor.
Take up a plank, or push-up, position on the floor, with a medicine ball directly under your chest. In the plank, you should have your hands below your shoulders, feet together, and abs engaged to keep your back and hips flat (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, push quickly and powerfully off the floor with both hands, landing with them on the ball with arms extended. You should remain in a plank position throughout this movement; engage your center to keep your body in a straight line as you pop off the floor (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the top of the ball, hop both hands back down to the floor, landing in the starting position with arms extended. Again, you need to hold through your center to control your downward movement. It is crucial that your hips not drop toward the floor, as you risk back injury. Try to feel that your abs lower you to the floor rather than that you drop onto your hands, so that you land lightly, suspended from your center (see Photos 4 to 6).
- Repeat the entire sequence for a set of eight hops up and down.