By: Jessica Maurer
Push-ups. Some people dread the word while others want to do 100 the minute their hands hit the floor. Push-ups are surprisingly functional as they challenge your entire upper body, while engaging other muscles in the body to act as stabilizers. In other words, push-ups give you a lot of bang for your buck.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to do the classic push-up ad nauseam. Instead of performing endless standard push-ups, add some variations to create a sequence that targets the entire body. This method requires more energy and can distract you and make the time fly by quickly. Because more muscle groups will be utilized in these compound exercises, someone who can’t do five push-ups continuously may be able to execute eight repetitions of a sequence.
When using the BOSU® Balance Trainer for push-ups, it’s easy to focus on using the platform side up. Sure, that’s effective, but there is also lots you can do with the dome side up! So we are going to explore several push-up variations that use the dome side of the Balance Trainer.
Whether you love or hate them, here are some great push-up sequences to add to your next BOSU® workout.
Start with your knees on the dome, bent approximately 90 degrees, and your hands on the floor about shoulder width apart. By placing the knees on the dome of the BOSU® Balance Trainer, you elevate the knees off of the ground to provide a more comfortable surface. This also puts your torso in a slightly declined push-up position. After completing one decline push-up, lift your right hand and place it directly under your face on the ground. The left hand should then tap the top of the right hand before returning back to the wide starting position. The right hand will return to the starting position, allowing the left hand to then move to the center. Once this sequence is complete on both sides, repeat the push-up and start the sequence over again.
Jumping Lizards Push-Up
Start with your hands placed wide on the dome and your legs in either a bent knee or fully extended position. Execute one slow push-up, lowering for 4 counts, holding at the bottom for 4 counts, and pressing back up for 4 counts. Then step to the right side of the dome with your right foot. Jump to move the right foot to plank and the left foot to the left side of the dome. Jump again to bring the right foot forward once more. Step back into plank as you do another push-up, this time letting the left step forward and jumping to the right.
Start with both hands in the center of the dome with your legs together and fully extended in a plank position. Step out with the right leg and place the right hand on the floor in line with the shoulder. Perform one push-up. Walk the left leg to the right as the left hand steps off the dome to position yourself in a plank. Jump out wide and back together for a plank jack. Walk the left hand and foot back to the starting position, followed by the right side, so that you can repeat this sequence on the other side.
This push-up is best for the body when it is built slowly, adding one movement at a time. Start in a plank position with your hands on the dome, and body weight shifted over the bullseye on the center of the dome. While keeping your elbows close to the rib cage, lower down in a triceps push-up until you are resting your torso on the BOSU® dome. Press into the dome with your hands and press back up to plank. Remember to maintain a neutral spine throughout this movement, not allowing your lower back to sway. Once you have mastered this, pause after you lower your torso to the dome. Lift into a modified cobra position by lifting the torso slightly off the dome. Lower back down, press into the dome and return to plank. As you become more comfortable, increase the range of motion of your cobra position. As you press back up into plank, move into a downward facing dog by lifting the tailbone to the sky while thinking about pressing your belly button to your thighs. Return to plank and repeat the sequence.
One Sided Push-Up
With your left hand on top of the dome, your right hand on the floor, and your feet slightly separated in an extended plank position, execute a biased push-up. As you press back up, rotate to the right for a side plank. Return down for another push-up. As you progress, add a plank twist by reaching the right arm under your waist and returning to side plank before lowering into the push-up. Alternate sides by walking the hands over the dome to the biased plank position on the other side.
Jessica Maurer is a is a BOSU® National Master Trainer, and a Master Trainer for Kamagon®, Surge®, Tabata Bootcamp®, and Lebert Training Systems®, as well as the co-creator of LOK Fitness. Jessica enjoys teaching a variety of group fitness classes in Salt Lake City, Utah and traveling globally to train other fitness instructors.