Fitness Tips

The Iranian Half-Moon Push-Up Hits Your Core Muscles the Hardest

Tehrene Firman

Tehrene FirmanAugust 4, 2020

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Photo: Getty Images / agrobacter

You might want to start planning your obliques’ funeral right now. By the time you tackle the Iranian half-moon push-up, you’ll be lying on your mat feeling a burn like never before.

The Iranian half-moon push-up isn’t on your typical list of push-up variations—in fact, I had never even heard of it before recently coming across it on YouTube. Instead of lowering your body into a regular push-up, this exercise has you making circles with your upper body as you rotate your knees to one side, dive your upper body forward, then twist back to your starting position. It’s essentially mixes a downward dog, plank, chaturanga, and push-up.

While this exercise is challenging to do, as it requires so much core and upper-body strength, it can also be tricky to figure out. But once you get into the flow and start doing it daily, you’ll quickly notice how much stronger your arms and abs feel. Here’s how to try the Iranian half-moon push-up out for yourself.

How to do an Iranian half-moon push-up

1. Start in a downward facing dog on your toes.
2. Keeping your toes glued to the floor, bend your knees and shift them to the right.
3. Move your upper body to the right then forward into a push-up, like you’re creating a half circle. Allow your chest to hover slightly above the floor when you’re in the push-up position.
4. Rotate your knees and upper body to the left as you return to the center, like you’ve completed a full circle.
5. Repeat on the opposite side without pausing, trying to keep one seamless motion throughout your reps.

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