Push-Ups are a staple in the realm of fitness.
They've been around long before the birth of iron barbells. Men and women alike have been utilizing Push-Ups for hundreds of years, and to great success.
An issue with basic Push-Ups arises, however, when you can perform a ton of them with little trouble. If you're in good shape, this likely applies to you. You need something more challenging if you want to continue seeing great results.
Like any movement, the key to continued success with Push-Ups is some form of progressive overload. This can include manipulating the intensity, volume or frequency. Push-Ups are unique in that you can manipulate all three of these factors thanks to the endless amounts of variations available to you.
You've probably seen Chain Push-Ups, Barbell Push-Ups, Dumbbell Push-Ups and a whole variety of others. However, one Push-Up variation I do not see utilized often is the Single-Arm Med Ball Off-Set Push-Up. It's a mouthful, but it's as hard to perform as it is to say.
Why is the Single-Arm Med Ball Off-Set Push-Up (henceforth the "SAMBOS Push-Up) so great?
For starters, we often preach the importance of unilateral (meaning single leg) lower-body work. But seldom do we highlight the importance of unilateral upper-body work. Single-arm pressing and push-up variations will expose weakness in the upper body. If one side of your upper body is weaker than the other in any area, the SAMBOS Push-Up will find it. This exercise will allow you to see where you struggle the most. In turn, it will allow you to address that weakness and continue to make progress.
This movement requires more than just strength in the triceps, chest and upper back. This variation requires you to have a strong core and good proprioception ability, two key components that are important for holistic strength development.
How to Perform the SAMBOS Push-Up
Step 1. Establish your base. Separate your feet about one and a half feet apart.
Step 2. Now, take the arm that you are going to focus on first and set it into the proper position as if you were to perform a regular Push-Up.
Step 3. The opposite hand will rest with your palm on top of the med ball.
Step 4. As you descend into your Push-Up, extend the "off hand" so that it is in a straight line across the top of the med ball.
Step 5. As you ascend from your Push-Up, slowly roll back the med ball to center.
If you found this easy, good. That is the warm-up. To properly perform this push up variation to pack on muscle, correct imbalances, and increase strength, try the following workout below.
The SAMBOS Push-Up Rally
1. SAMBOS Push-Up 2x5 each arm
2. 4 sets of 10 reps each arm with a 3-second eccentric portion (meaning you spend three seconds lowering down to the ground on each rep)
Take 30-45 seconds rest between sets. I recommend you use this as your main movement for the first 1-2 weeks on your upper-body days. Once you get used to the new volume, you can use it as an accessory movement on upper-body days.
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