Push-ups are the fitness world’s most reliable move. If ever you want a solid core and upper-body workout—no equipment required—all you have to do is drop down and give ’em 20, and you know it will get the job done. But the classic version of the move can admittedly leave your lower body feeling a little left out. The fix? Adding some resistance.
While a push-up on its own is undoubtedly effective for hitting multiple muscles from your head to your toes, adding a resistance band around your ankles turns it into a true full-body move. “Adding a resistance band around your ankles activates your glutes, essentially making the push-up a total body movement,” says Barry’s founding trainer Keoni Hudoba, who frequently uses the move in his #Corentine workouts on Instagram. “This way, your core, chest, back, and glutes are all engaged simultaneously.”
While the added resistance will work your muscles harder than a classic push-up, mastering it doesn’t require any additional work: If you know how to do a proper push-up, you’re already halfway there. Simply place a resistance band around your ankles, then set yourself up in plank position, the same way you would for a traditional up-and-down. Be sure to keep your feet slightly wider than your hips so that you can really feel the band pulling apart, which will help to fire up your glutes and the backs of your legs. Then, move your body down toward the ground, keeping a solid line from your head to your heels (think of it as a “moving plank” for best results). If you want to focus on your chest and shoulders, allow your elbows to extend out to the side. If you want to hit your triceps, keep them parallel to your body. Hover for a second, then push back up to start. If you need a visual reminder, this video can help:
Once you’ve got the basic version of the move down, you can add a burst of cardio into the mix by turning it into a resistance band burpee (which, yes—is exactly as brutal as it sounds). After you’ve reached the top of your push-up, hop your legs toward your hands, stand up and jump your legs out to the side to activate the band. Then pop back down into a push-up and do it again. Cycle through a few reps, and you’ll have worked your entire body and gotten your heart pumping, which means you can consider your workout for the day complete.
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