There are myriad ways to do pushups to challenge and build chest, shoulder, and triceps strength. But few pushups manage to build both strength and push your hip mobility too.
The rare exception? The Spiderman pushup, and according to Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., it’s a move you want in your training arsenal. “This is a special and unique pushup,” says Samuel. “It won’t push the bounds of your strength as aggressively as, say, archer pushups or post pushups, but it does have plenty of value, and it’s a good way to build time-under-tension, too.”
The Spiderman pushup is more than a superheroic name attached to a classic exercise. Spiderman pushups challenge you to hold the bottom position of a pushup, then drive one knee to one elbow. “To do this, you have to fire your glutes and have loose hips,” says Samuel, “because you actually have to hold your hip in external rotation as you drive forward.”
That challenge will help build loose hips, too, even as it exposes your weaknesses. “If your hips are constantly shifting during the Spiderman pushup,” says Samuel, “it’s a sign you may need to do more hip mobility work.” No matter what, you’ll derive value from the move, especially as you improve. Don’t expect both sides to feel the same, either, says Samuel. “Oftentimes, our hip mobility may be a bit different from side to side,” says Samuel. “You learn that with this exercise.”
Learn to do the move itself below.
This Spiderman pushup is a versatile exercise that can fit into your workouts in a variety of ways. It’s a perfect move to include in any total-body bodyweight-only circuit, and it can also be a solid warmup for a full-body workout or an upper-body workout. In addition to all that, it can be a strong chest-day finisher; if you do it in this situation, you’ll want to think of working for time, not reps, possibly going for 40 seconds a set, then resting 20 seconds, and working for 4 to 5 sets.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s All Out Arms program.
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