When it comes to push-ups, my personal mantra is “the fewer the better.” So when I do do them, I want to be absolutely sure that I’m getting the most bang for my (brutally suffered-through) buck. Those things are hard, you guys! Well, my sore, sweaty prayers were answered yesterday morning in a HIIT class when I was introduced to the 30/60/90 pylo-fly push-up.
The move—which, it’s worth prefacing, is among one of the hardest I’ve ever done—is two-fold. It starts with a chaturanga (AKA tricep) push-up on a riser, and then jumping your hands outward to the floor on either side of the riser to do another, regular pec push-up. Then, you jump your hands back on top of the riser and do it all again. FWIW, I’m exhausted just typing that.
This 2-for-1, plyometric-meets-push-up situation winds up giving you a full-body workout in a single swoop. “With the chaturanga or tricep push-ups, you’re also using your core, your triceps, your shoulders, a little bit of chest, but ideally more of the back of the arms,” says 30/60/90 Fitness founder Kristi Molinaro, who invented the move. “The plyo part adds in the core because at [the] moments you’re in the air, your core needs to be strong in order to lift your body up and down like that with your hands. And then when you do the wide grip or pec push-up, you’re using your shoulders, your chest, your biceps, and triceps.” On top of that, because you’re doing such a big move with your arms at a fast pace, you’re going to get your heart-rate up.
Told you regular push-ups ain’t got nothin’ on this ultra-intense take on the classic exercise. To make things slightly more manageable, you can modify the move by doing it on your knees or walking your hands in and out instead of jumping them. You can also do it entirely on the floor instead of with risers, or switch up the height of the risers that you do use. “The higher bench is more challenging stabilization-wise and plyo-wise, but the push-ups are harder with a lower bench or or no risers,” Molinaro explains. If you’re ready to turn up the fire emojis at the gym with the move, keep scrolling for Molinaro’s breakdown of exactly how to do her signature push-ups the right way. And in case you were wondering, my upper body is still feeling the burn a full 30+ hours after attempting these babies… and I did them on my knees.
How to do the 2-in-1 push-up:
- Start with your hands on either side of the riser, and bring your shoulders toward the front of the bench. Roll your shoulders back and lower your whole body so that your torso comes down in alignment with your upper arms, which should end up making a 90-degree angle. Be sure not to dip your chest all the way to the riser, but keep your torso in line with your elbows.
- Push straight back up, then jump your hands out to either side of the riser.
- Arrange the middle of your palms in line with the middle of your chest, then bring your chest down as low as you can with your arms at a 90-degree angle facing the front. How low you’re able to go will depend on how high your riser is.
- Pushing all of your force and energy off of the floor (“That’s where the hard part comes in,” says Molinaro), push yourself up into the air and land your hands back on the riser next to your chest. And you’re ready for round two.
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