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For years, I’ve been posting some crazy challenges for a group of friends I used to train with. Now, I do these to fight the tedium that threatens our fitness lifestyle.
No matter your dedication or fitness level, sometimes we all know that no matter where you train, it can get a bit monotonous. Hopefully this week’s challenge can help break the monotony — it’s one of my favorites I did over the Thanksgiving holidays: the single-leg, single-arm hop and press challenge.
Key instructions: Bound as far as you can from your left leg, land on your right, and stick the landing. Drop into a right-leg/left-hand push\up position, and perform a one-arm on one-foot push-up. Pop-up to standing, being careful to avoid touching the ground with your right hand or left foot throughout the entire movement. Turn, and repeat the opposite!
Why try this? Because you have watched too many Avengers movies and you want to test your superhuman capabilities! This is a pretty difficult test of strength in proportion to your body weight, and the ability to control how your body moves through space.
Where you’ll feel it: The explosive “leaping” muscles are mainly the calf muscle groups, quads, glutes, and trapezius (trust me, jump enough and your traps will be sore!). Your entire core/pillar is challenged whenever fighting to stabilize in a plank or push-up position – magnified by the proprioception of performing this task on one arm/one leg. And the upper-body pushers (pecs, tris, and delts) have to fire strongly to perform a one-hand pushup.
How to build up to this: This is an advanced movement! Take it in pieces: First, the “bound and land” can be trained with all varieties of lower body strength work. Of course, please be careful if you have any injuries, especially when attempting to land on one foot. The stabilization on one hand and one foot is challenging. You can build this type of strength with various plank exercises, hanging leg raises, and other core work. Finally, the pushing strength required to perform a one-arm push-up is tough. I recommend dumbbell and kettlebell pushing exercises, since they allow you to build strength unilaterally. Also, it bears pointing out that the heavier your body is, the stronger your pushing muscles must become!
That’s it. Enjoy responsibly and have fun beating yourself up! Let me know how it goes: @andywhatsnext.