Push-Up variations are a dime a dozen. Some are nothing more than a lame attempt at creativity, but others are fantastic. Spiderman Push-Ups are one of my favorites.
Compared to a conventional Push-Up, the Spiderman Push-Up makes things more difficult for your chest, triceps and shoulders. Plus, it involves significantly more core stability. Stronger pecs, triceps, shoulder and abs? That's more than enough to get anyone who's ever flexed in front of the mirror excited.
Changing your center of gravity
Your center of gravity is the Spiderman Push-Up's secret sauce. By moving your leg during each rep, you shift your center of gravity forward. This effectively increases the load, meaning you're pressing a higher percentage of your body weight compared to conventional Push-Ups.
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Slapping another plate on the bar is an obvious way to increase the weight of an exercise. But adding weight to bodyweight exercises is more difficult, often uncomfortable or both. Spiderman Push-Ups are a clever way to simply and seamlessly add weight.
Changing your base of support
Along with changing your center of gravity, moving your leg during each rep also changes your base of support. Simply put, the fewer points of contact you have with the ground, the less stable you are (think about standing on one foot). The Spiderman Push-Up takes you from four points of contact to three, forcing your core to work harder to make up for the lost stability.
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This is extra effective because your core is designed to stabilize, not move. That's why stability exercises like Crawls and Planks are more effective than Crunches for building overall core strength.
For most people, working up to a Spiderman Push-Up is less a matter of upper-body strength and more a matter of total body stability. Crawling progressions will build the core stability you need. Add one minute of each Crawling variation to your warm-up—the Child's Crawl first, followed by the Bear Crawl, and finally, the Spiderman Crawl. Check out the video player above for a demonstration.
If you've built the necessary strength and stability to perform the Spiderman Push-Up and are hungry for more, it's time to progress the exercise. Check out the video player above for a demonstration.