A Single Russian Push-Up Is Like a Full Core Workout

Photo: Getty Images/mihailomilovanovic
Certain variations of the standard push-up accomplish a few fitness goals at once. In addition to strengthening your shoulder and chest, the Russian push-up, for example, is a move that basically gives you an entire core workout with a single rep.

The Russian push-up combines the difficulty of a basic push-up with that of a forearm plank. Separately, the two moves are easier to manage. But in this sequence, you're shifting back and forth between the two with swift, seamless motions (which looks simple enough in the video below).

Aside from strengthening your arms and shoulders, completing the exercise successfully also requires the help of all the muscles in your core, especially as you transition from the forearm plank position.

While you don't see Russian push-ups in workouts very often, the compound movement is a great addition to any fitness routine. Studies suggest that push-ups offer more cardiovascular benefits than cardio. Blend it with a plank and you've got a winning combination.

How to do a Russian push-up

  1. Start in a plank position with your shoulders directly over your wrists.
  2. Lower down into a push-up with your chest hovering above the floor.
  3. Shift back into a forearm plank.
  4. Shift back to a low push-up position.
  5. Raise back up into a high plank.
  6. Lower and repeat without taking a break.

Before you get started, make sure you're doing a regular push-up the right way:

And here's how to do a plank the right way:

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