Health & Fitness

Try This: Get the jump on animal push-ups

HealthFitness

Feeling strong? How about trying some animal push-ups? This is an exercise in which the sand helps absorb the impact of your movements, but it's also one that requires strength and determination. Animal push-ups take the traditional and go further, demonstrated by celebrity personal trainer Mike Donavanik (www.mikedfitness.com). This is a plyometric exercise: one that develops power using quick, explosive movements.

What it does: This plyometric exercise is functional and dynamic and trains fast-twitch muscle fibers through explosive movement. If done in the sand, it offers even more resistance, since the ground has some give, making every push-off more difficult. The drill increases upper and lower body strength and improves the cardiovascular system.

How to do it: Start in a push-up position but with knees bent to about 90 degrees underneath the hips. Do a push-up, with knees bent, then shift the weight back into the legs, as if going into a downward-facing dog yoga pose. Jump toward the hands as you lift the hands, falling forward and landing into the starting push-up position. Repeat the move.

How much: Beginners could try five to 10. Advanced athletes might try 12 to 20.

health@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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