This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Incline push-ups up the ante on the standard method by elevating your feet. The incline adds weight, and thus intensity, at the bottom of your movement—the toughest part of the push-up.
Stand with your back toward a flat bench which is firmly bolted to the floor. Note: Do not do this exercise using a moveable piece of furniture. Place your hands flat on the floor with arms extended and put your feet up behind you on the bench, so that you are in a plank position with your feet elevated. Your weight should be on your toes and hands, and your shoulders directly over your hands; keep your center engaged to maintain a flat back (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, do a standard push-up, bending your elbows to lower your chest to the floor while keeping your back flat and a straight line from the top of your head to your feet. At the bottom of your push-up, your feet will be significantly higher than your head—so as you lower your chest, resist gravity by maintaining a continuous pace (see Photo 2).
- Once your chest is just a couple of inches from the floor, press back up to the starting position, using a single, smooth movement (see Photos 3 and 4).