Mastering the single-arm push-up is one of the primary aims of any serious fitness enthusiast, but for many it remains an elusive goal. The Archer push-up can, in the smallest possible way, be compared to having training wheels on your bike when first learning to ride. Those who are familiar with this technique will probably be insulted by the comparison, but it in no way implies that this exercise is as simple as learning to ride a bike. It remains a challenge that will require the entire body’s cooperation and the mind’s determination if it is to be successfully accomplished.
The single-arm push-up requires that the inactive arm be rested near the small of the back. With the Archer push-up there are various ways of building up enough strength to accomplish the classic single-arm push-up. The resting arm is extended horizontally and can either be elevated, or if strength levels cannot support this, then the arm can rest on the ground. If the arm is elevated, then the height of the supporting object needs to be between 6 and 12 inches to ensure that the body is kept at the right angle and level.
The Archer push-up gives a slight degree of assistance in weight bearing and adds a degree of stability to the balance of the body. The closer the assisting arm is to the body, the more it shares in the load, so that, as you progress, the arm is moved farther away. The variation provided by this method allows for a gradual increase in strength levels and assists with the correct positioning and attitude of the body until the supporting arm is no longer required. It also adds tremendously to the stability and strength of the shoulders and encourages the shoulder blades to properly connect with the torso and, subsequently, with the entire body.
By pushing the toes hard into the ground the quads and glutes are called to action and bracing your core will add to the body’s rigidity. Pulling the shoulders down as far as possible completes the necessary posture to be maintained throughout the exercise. The elbow of the working arm should be kept tightly at the side for maximum stability when pushing up and the return to the start position should be driven through the armpit and not the shoulder. This maintains the shoulder blade’s alignment and utilises the large muscles in the upper back and ribcage. Done correctly, the Archer push-up strengthens the core as well as every major muscle group.
The Archer push-up adds welcome variations to one of the most challenging exercises faced by fitness enthusiasts, but the ultimate result will be an awesome amount of pushing power.
Image and video courtesy of http://www.globalbodyweighttraining.com/