March 30, 2013
If you're not a fan of traditional straight-leg push-ups, here's a new twist on them that still provides the same killer workout for arms, but also works the neglected lower back.
Called the half-cobra push-up, this yoga-inspired move is demonstrated here by fitness instructor Cassey Ho, who uses it on her "Pop Pilates Total Body Workout" DVD and her "Blogilates" You Tube channel.
What it does
This exercise shifts the focus of a traditional push-up from the shoulders to the triceps, while flexing and strengthening the lower back.
What to do
Lie flat on the mat on your belly. Slide your hands back to your armpits. You should not be able to see your fingers. Pin your elbows to your sides, and look forward. Squeeze your lower back and exhale through the mouth as you press into your palms and lift your chest up halfway, without straightening your arms. Inhale through your nose and come down with control. Make sure your elbows aren't flaring out but are instead pointing back to your feet. Do all repetitions of the move and then on the last one, lower down in three very slow counts. When you're finished, tuck your toes under and pull back onto your knees in a child's pose to stretch your back.
Do 12 to 20 repetitions.
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