Negativtity and the Unloved Pushup

August 16th, 2012

This workout is not really my general style. It isn’t super explosive, and it is totally devoid of the burpee, and yet it is such a surprising kick in the pants. You are going to read it and be like, meh, but I warn you, a student of mine’s husband had to take off her  shirt for her all week after doing a variant of this puppy in class. That being said, if you need some sort of impetus to propel yourself into that scenario with a certain someone, this could just be your thing.

Negative Pushups are the neglected middle child of the pushup. We do triceps pushups, we do diamond pushups, one-handed (I have actually done these on Broadway, in tights, on a date – not my finest moment /  my finest, depending on which way you swing it…) GI Jane chair pushups (my life in complete now that I have done these – evidence above) – you get the point. We spend all our freaking time worrying about getting our bodies off of the cold hard ground, that we rarely think about how we get them there in the first place. Here enters the negative pushup.

Negative Pushups are all about the decent. They are essentially a moving plank. You set yourself up in a pushup plank: wrists in line with shoulders, press into your palms, draw your shoulder blades across the back, draw your belly button into your spine, tighten your butt bringing your hips in line with shoulders, inner-spiral your thighs (aka squeeze those dudes), and draw the heals together without actually bringing them together. (Check out the first steps of the pushup for more info.) Then, all you have to do is keep all of that engaged as you move with painstaking control to the floor. After that you can worm your way back up for all I care. All you need to worry about is how you get to the ground. Each pushup should take at least 5 counts (of the one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand variety.) No quicker.

Start Position – AKA: Pushup Plank

Midway – 3-one-thousand, 4-one-thousand…

Bottom: Chest all the way to the ground. Like literally touch the floor.

I debated adding something with a little more explosive twist to this workout, but decided to keep it simple. I rocked this one in my apartment in front of my TV, under the judgement and curiosity of my cats when I just didn’t feel like extricating myself from my air-conditioned unit of happiness. I didn’t want to take that opportunity away from anyone. Thus, negatives are paired with V-Ups.

Need more info on the V-Up? Check it out here: V-ups.

Workout: Negative Pushup / V-Up Ladder

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Reps of:
Negative Pushups

Do 10 reps of each exercise before moving onto 9 reps of each, 8 reps of each, etc until you get to 1 rep. Fight to keep the pushups at least 5 counts and to keep your hips in line with your shoulders on the way down. If you want to add a little spice, you can switch between wide arms and narrow arms each set. However, if you do narrow arms negatives (elbows grazing rib cage) make sure that you can keep your shoulders drawn back instead of letting them cave inwards = too much pressure on the shoulders. Think yoga – heart space open, shoulder blades drawn across the back.

Narrow Arms – Midway

Narrow Arms – Bottom

Get ready to be sore, but who knows, it could be advantageous…

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