Workout Wednesday: Yeah, You Should Do More Pushups February 10 2015

Why bother?

You and I both know that we should do more pushups. Yes, they're really boring. Nobody is going to come up to while you're doing them and ask how long you've been doing parkour. And yeah, I know your mom does them. But they're the brussels sprouts of a decent workout routine - they're not going to make you a whole lot of friends, but they are very, very good for you.

The main muscle groups you'll work with push ups are your pecs, triceps and anterior deltoids - the front of your shoulder muscle. For riders, (especially in equitation), good arm and shoulder strength is a puzzle piece of great posture, and therefore, good form. What's more, using bodyweight exercises and calisthenics (rather than weights) to help strengthen your chest and shoulders will help you avoid overtraining your front - which can lead to rounded shoulders and a 'hunched' look while you ride.

And a HUGE bonus with high intensity interval training circuits like the one below is that they'll not only help with your strength, but they're a really efficient way to do your cardio. How efficient? Over 10 times more, according to one famous study.

How do I do them?

Seeing as last week's plank circuit from Neila Rey hopefully turned you into a sweaty, quivering mess, we're going back to the well with her Riddick workout.

The Riddick pushup circuit is great for equestrians and riders

When you're crying to the gym mat/carpet on the third set of these, remember that to keep good form during pushups, you should:

  1. Start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your back straight (don't let it sag).
  2. Keep your head facing slightly forward and your butt and abs clenched. This will help keep everything in line.
  3. Keep your elbows from flaring out as you do pushups. They should be at angle of about 20-40 degrees from your body.

When should I do them?

The great thing about a circuit like this is that you can do it pretty much whenever (and wherever) you want. If you're looking to incorporate the circuit into a regular workout, then do it after you've finished doing any weights, but before you've worked on your core.