Push ups are an awesome exercise that builds your chest, shoulders, triceps and overall pushing strength. It’s no wonder push ups are one of the most popular exercises because they are so effective and you can do them anywhere without equipment.
The airplane push up variation is a great warm up exercise if push ups are already easy for you.
So, why is it so good and recommended by so many coaches and trainers?
You are not only increasing blood flow to your arms, shoulders, and chest, but adding rotation as you stabilize your body activates and challenges your core. When it comes to your warm up – and better movement in general – paying particular attention to the “butt and the gut” (aka. glutes and core) helps unlock your body’s strength, conditioning, and flexibility potential.
Doing 10 reps for 1-2 sets can be sufficient to help get the blood flowing and help you warm up your muscles and joints as part of a warm up. Take your time with this exercise doing it slow and controlled so that you get the full benefit. Rushing through your reps will prevent you from reaping the benefits.
Follow these instructions and you’ll be banging out spider push ups as a way to impress your friends or simply get stronger and more muscular.
- Start in the push up position with your hands just wider than your shoulders, arms straight, and shoulders locked down.
- Maintaining a strong plank position, lower into your push-up.
- Once you press back up, find balance on one arm as you rotate and lift the opposite arm upward
- Your feet will slightly rotate as you raise your arm up.
- With control, bring your outstretched arm back down to the starting push up position.
- Push up & repeat on the other side
- Inhale as you lower into your push-up, exhale as you press back up and rotate.
- Keep your feet neutral so your toes stay pinned to the ground
- Breathe slowly, control the movement.
- Don’t worry about getting too many reps
3 Common Form Mistakes
1. Dropping your head and neck
Dropping your head so that it falls towards the ground is a common form mistake during push ups in general. This is particularly important with airplane push ups as there is a rotational component. By keeping your head up and shoulders back, your body will be stronger and more aligned and the exercise will be more effective.
2. Dropping your hips while in a side plank
A benefit of doing airplane push ups is that you activate and challenge the side of your body by doing a modified side plank. To get the most of the exercise, keep your hips up so that they do not drop down, which means you have lost tension in your core and there is a break between your upper and lower body. Your core is like a bridge that helps both your upper and lower body work more fluidly and efficiently.
3. Reaching your arm too far back behind you in a side plank
While the airplane push ups are rotational, be careful not to rotate too much at the top of the movement. This excessive rotation can put your shoulders & spine at risk for injury. Breathe smoothly and slowly and just reach toward the sky so that your outstretched arm is perpendicular to the ground.
I hope this guide has been helpful for you. If you have any questions, just leave a comment!