Rotational Push-Up

Push-ups are already brutal. Why would anyone want to make them harder? To sculpt the body effectively, that’s why.

Rotational Push-Ups are also known as Push-Ups with Rotation, and they take the garden variety Push-Up way past the norm. While regular Push-Ups work the pectorals and the arms primarily, this variation adds in a hefty dose of core work and pushes the pecs and arms much harder. They also require coordination and balance, which are skills that normal Push-Ups do not require. 

Adding Rotation

To add rotation to your Push-Up, you first start off with a standard Push-Up form. This exercise can be done if you’re not great at Push-Ups yet, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult. However, since the core and back muscles are more involved here than in the traditional Push-Up, sometimes less experienced fitness enthusiasts find this easier than they think they will.

Here’s how to do this exercise:

  • Get into plank position. Make sure that your spine is aligned with your heels and that your head is neutral.
  • Lower your torso by bending your arms, until you’re just a couple of inches off the ground.
  • Shift your weight to one side, rotating your body so that one arm is holding all of the weight of your body. 
  • Keep rotating until your free arm is in the air and your feet are stacked on top of each other. 
  • Lower back down with control to plank position, keeping the core tight. 
  • Alternate sides and continue with another three to five reps. 

Focus on Stability

The hips and torso must remain stable throughout this exercise. That part of the form is important to prevent back pain or strain, as there is a lot of body weight going onto that supporting arm and the stacked feet.

The hands should be placed directly beneath the shoulders, not forward or back. Legs, arms, and torso need to be kept straight at the top position. Preserving the stability of the joints during this exercise is important to getting it right. Your ankles, knees, spine, and neck should all create a straight line at the height of this exercise.  

Pushing the Body

The Rotational Push-Up is a calisthenic-style exercise that was created by bodybuilders to improve their physical stamina and balance. It’s similar to the Half Side Plank and definitely was influenced by yoga exercises. 

Working up to Rotational Push-Ups is a good idea if you’re struggling with the rigor of the exercise. Try the Shoulder Tap Push-Up, the Push-Up Clap, or the Alternating Push-Up Plank if the Rotational Push-Up is too difficult to do at first. With time and practice, you’ll be able to get this exercise down. 

What’s great about this exercise is that it can be done without any equipment. That being said, there are variations that use Push-Up bars or even weight vests to add to the difficulty.

Just about every fitness enthusiast can get excited about working towards better control and balance. What’s great about this exercise is that, while it looks incredibly difficult, it’s possible to work up to it even as a beginner.

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