In a past blog I wrote about getting back to basics and incorporating different types of push ups into your routine. Push ups are great for all the obvious reasons; they can be performed anywhere, the teach you body control, and the level of difficulty can be enhanced or decreased by how you perform them.
An excellent substitute to regular push ups is the Hindu push up. Hindu push ups build tremendous upper body strength, endurance, and develop flexibility, in the hips, lower and upper back and shoulders. (Regular push ups can not boast of the improvements in mobility offered by this exercise). If you were to listen to conversations in the weight room one of the most common complaints you would hear would be that of shoulder strains and tightness. This is often caused by the constant pressing motions performed on the bench press and other exercises. Hindu push ups offer a great alternative as you are still able to perform a pressing exercise to work your pectorals, yet you will not tighten and decrease your range of motion in your shoulders, in fact you will most likely increase them.
Hindu Push ups:
- Starting position is the same as regular push ups except that you will take a wide stance. Your feet should be about 5-8 inches outside of the shoulders, depending on the height of the trainee.
- Press butt high in the air so that your body forms a triangle. Keep head inline with your back. At this point you should be looking at your feet-shin area.
- Take a deep breath. Sweep down towards the ground (imagine that you are ducking below a stick) stay low, gliding just above the ground in a semi-circular motion.
- When your head has pasted your arms begin to raise it up towards the sky. Keep your stomach low, so as to perform a back bend.
- At this point you should be stretched with your hips low to the ground, your shoulders drown back, and your head to the sky.
- Breath out
- Push the butt back and up towards the sky as your head comes down. Now you have returned to starting postion
With Hindu push ups it is important to try and get the breathing patterns down. Remember, take a deep breath prior to swooping down and exhale when your head is at the top. It is easy to confuse the Hindu push up with the dive bomber. The difference being with the dive bomber, you are basically reversing the forward and back motion of the exercise. Also with the dive bomber you do not extend fully on the bottom half, therefore the stretch is not as pronounced.