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.
Imbalance adds a new challenge in this exercise, in which you do push-ups with one hand on a Reebok step and one hand on the floor. You'll work your chest especially hard on the lowered side, and the effort required to keep you from tilting is a full-body project, engaging your core, legs, chest, shoulders, and back. Adding further difficulty to the exercise, you'll pop into the air to switch sides, developing explosive power.
Place a Reebok step flat on the floor, without risers beneath it. Stand at either the short ends of the step and place both hands flat on top of it. Step your feet back and lower yourself into a push-up, or plank, position, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your back, hips, and legs forming a straight line. Hold through your center so as not to droop through your hips (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, take your left hand off the step and place it on the floor. Do a push-up in this position, with one hand on the step and one on the floor. Lower your chest toward the floor, engaging your center to keep your body perfectly flat. Do not tilt your shoulders; even though your hands are not level, the rest of your body should be, and your chest should descend parallel to the floor, not at an angle (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the bottom of the push-up, press up with power and speed, generating enough explosive power so that both hands come into the air for a moment and you pop your upper body to the other side of the Reebok step (see Photos 4 and 5).
- As you come down, land in the reverse position, with your right hand on the step and your left hand on the floor. Immediately do a push-up in this position (see Photo 6).
- Continue to alternate sides, popping through the air to switch, until you can do no more without compromising your form. Try to end with an even set, such that you have done an equal number of push-ups on the two sides.