Abs, Shoulders, Triceps
Alternating Reach Push Up Overview
The alternating reach push up is a push up variation that challenges the core to stabilize the body by adding in an additional reach overhead at the end of the exercise.
It can be used as a progression to the bird dog push up and one arm push up. The alternating reach push up targets the muscles of the chest, triceps, shoulders, and core.
Alternating Reach Push Up Instructions
- Assume a quadruped position on the floor with your hands under your shoulders, toes tucked, and knees under hips.
- Extend one leg at a time and assume a slightly wider than normal stance with the elbows extended and head in a neutral position looking at the floor.
- Slowly descend to the floor by retracting the shoulder blades and unlocking the elbows.
- Descend until the upper arms are parallel or your chest touches the floor.
- Push back to the starting point by extending the elbows and driving your palms into the floor.
- Reach directly overhead and don’t allow the hips to rotate.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions on both sides.
Alternating Reach Push Up Tips
- Your arms should resemble an arrow in the bottom position, not a “T”.
- Your spine should remain rigid throughout the entire exercise, think of the pushup as a moving plank.
- Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs before descending to keep the ribcage neutral.
- Keep the chin down and don’t look forward.
- Imagine you’re trying to push your thumbs together while completing the movement, this will improve activation of the pecs.
- Don’t allow the head to jut forward, the chest should touch at the same time as your nose.
Think about trying to push yourself as far away from the floor as possible.
- Ensure you push all the way through the floor at the top of the repetition and allow your shoulder blades to move around your ribcage.
- Most folks cut the repetition short and don’t garner the full benefits.