How to Train Your Push up Now: Ready to ROCKy?!

July 7, 2015


Let´s start with the inspiration: this film clip

So now I ask you: are you ready to” RockY”?!?

I was watching this movie for the 100th time this past weekend. In my opinion, it is one of the best movies ever made. I love Stallone and when I was young I really dreamed about training with him or at least like him. I still remember when I was ten years old; the first time that I tried a one-arm push up like the one he does in the movie, and nearly destroyed my face on the ground (0:51 minutes into the video above).

So I thought about proposing here some push up variations with different levels of difficulty. Remember to always maintain a straight back, with the core engaged to protect your spine. Especially during dynamic moves. 

I suggest you this soundtrack when you´re working on improving your push ups:

 Ready to push like the Italian Stallion?

Push Up on the Knees

A beginner version of a push up. Try to keep one straight line from the head to the knees, long and active with the core, keep the hands in the same line as the shoulders. 


Push Up

Also here, one straight line: from the head to the feet. No arcs, your back in a neutral position and the hands in the same line as the shoulders.


Pike Push Up

A good exercise to train shoulders and flexibility. On your toes, with a closed angle between core and the legs (similar to a downward facing dog position) try to go down with the head between the hands.


Spider-man Push Up

As you complete one push up, bring one knee towards your elbow at the same time, alternating sides.


Archer Push Up

Start position: with the arms wider then the classic push up stance, flex the elbow on one side, extending the opposite arm. Remember to always control all movements.


Hand-Shoulder Push up

With the hands in the same line of the shoulders, as you extend the arms completely, touch the opposite shoulder. Alternate sides, always touching your shoulders at the end of one push up.


Clap Push Up

Explosive power! Launch yourself as high as you can and clap your hands in front of your chest. Control going back down. Do these on the grass: it´s soft and safe in case you don’t make it on the first try, and very important it´s softer for the hands’ impact.


Thai Push up (AKA back clap)

Harder and stronger than the previous version, you need to push even higher and clap your hands behind your back. This is a very advanced move.


Pike Legs up Push Up

Similar to the pike push ups from before, but with your feet raised and supported by a wall or beam, drop your lower body. Try to maintain a 90° angle between your upper body and legs.


 Enjoy and remember: “nobody owes nothing, you owe yourself!” (Silvester Stallone – Rocky III)

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  • Richard July 9, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Very nice workout man! I’ll definetly give it a shot! Calisthenics for life!