Work Your Arms and Core with Russian Push-Ups

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These ain’t your grandma’s push-ups.

The primary target of a push-up is the arms. You push your body weight up, then lower it back down without falling. It’s a good, simple staple exercise. You can diversify the impact by combining it with other exercises or make it harder by going one-handed, but the general impact remains more or less the same. If you’re not satisfied with that, there’s a particular spin-off of the push-up that’ll work more than just your arms.

By combining a push-up with a forearm plank, you get the grizzly bear of a workout known as the Russian push-up. In addition to the arm and shoulder strength training of a traditional push-up, the Russian push-up mixes in swift, seamless motions that require you to use just about every muscle in your core region. It’s like doing two completely different workouts simultaneously, and the gains are multiplied; twice the burn, twice the gain, twice the sweat. It’s a real butt-kicker, and here’s how you do it:

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First, get into a plank position. Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists. Lower yourself down into a push-up, keeping your chest off the floor. Make sure your push-up form is proper! Next, shift back into a forearm plank position, followed by another shift back to the low push-up position. Finish by raising back up into the high plank. Lather, rinse, repeat, and no breaks!

Done correctly, it should look like a smooth motion going down, back, forward, and up. If you watch someone else do it, it looks pretty simple, but trust me, a few reps of these will have your muscles screaming. You might want to save it for the end of your session, or you could run out of energy for anything else.