Two Challenging Push-Up Combo Workouts When You're Short on Time

October 24, 2012 | Jim Carpentier

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When it's difficult to schedule a workout, combining Push-Ups with other exercises is a time-efficient way to get one in. Targeting all the major muscle groups essential to sports performance, Push-Ups enhance strength, endurance and promote total body flexibility. (Review Push-Up technique.) Conveniently, they can be performed in limited space and with zero equipment.

Whenever you have trouble finding time to exercise, try the following two workouts. Each one takes only ten minutes but remains challenging.

Before each workout, make sure you are properly hydrated and fueled. Start with a dynamic warm-up and end with a cool-down that includes upper- and lower-body static stretches.

Workout 1

Press Up and Squat Thrust

An excellent endurance-builder that targets the hip, leg, back, chest and arm muscles. Also, rapidly performing both movements is sports-functional, like when pushing against an opponent in football or quickly getting up to run down the court in basketball.

  • Begin with hands shoulder-width apart
  • Quickly press up and down five times
  • Immediately follow with five fast Squat Thrusts
  • Repeat sequence four more times, then rest 60 seconds
  • Rehydrate before next exercise

Push-Ups/Planks

This combo strengthens the abdominal, middle/lower back, chest and arm muscles.

  • Elevate feet on a chair or bench
  • Press up and down five times
  • Lower onto forearms and hold for 10 seconds (Prone Plank)
  • Repeat sequence four more times

Push-Ups/Inchworms

This is a good exercise for upper/lower body flexibility. It also strengthens the abdominal, lower/middle back, chest and arm muscles.

  • Press up and walk toes toward hands (keeping legs straight)
  • Walk hands forward to push-up position (Inchworm)
  • Repeat sequence four more times

Workout 2

Push-Ups/Mountain Climbers

Another great endurance builder that also works the legs, hips, back, chest and arms.

  • Quickly press up and down five times
  • Immediately follow with 15 seconds of Mountain Climbers
  • Repeat sequence four more times

Alternate Ball Press-Up With Raised Foot

Having one foot off the ground engages the core muscles and improves balance, a key component for any sport.

  • Place right hand on ground in push-up position and left hand on medicine ball or basketball
  • Raise left foot off ground
  • Take five seconds to press up and five seconds to lower for five reps
  • Immediately switch hands on ball
  • Raise right foot and repeat slow press-up and down for five reps

Explosive Press-Up With Squat Thrust

This is another sports-functional exercise that enhances upper/lower body power and quickness. The close-hand press-ups target the triceps and inner pectoral muscles; the shoulder-width hand position strengthens the triceps and outer pecs.

  • With hands close together, explosively press up and down 10 times (hands leave ground between reps)
  • Immediately follow with 10 Squat Thrusts
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Repeat sequence with hands spaced shoulder-width apart
Want some Push-Up variations thrown in? Check out Perform These Push-Up Variations to Improve Upper-Body Strength.

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...

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