Archer push ups is a unilateral exercise that uses one hand to perform a push up, while the other hand is used for support. This means that only one side of the chest, shoulders and triceps is engaged, while the other side stabilizes the body as it moves through space.
The archer push ups can fit in into multiple ways in your workouts. You can use it as a bodyweight finisher for your chest workout in the gym, or in your push up sessions as your first or second exercise. Or, it can be done anywhere at any time for a quick chest pump.
What’s more interesting about the archer push up is; it’s an assisted version of a one arm push up that allows you to train one arm with great intensity and focus than the standard version of the exercise. It can be used as a stepping stone in mastering the one arm push ups. This allows you to better work your way up to the actual one arm pushup.
The muscles worked in push ups are;
- Big Chest
- Boulder shoulders
- Horseshoe Triceps
- Rock Hard Abs
Benefits Of Archer Push Ups
Archer pus ups can act as a stepping stone to a one arm pushups;
If you want to learn the one arm push up, then the archer push up will definitely get you there. To do the one arm push up with good form is really difficult
This is because there may be a tendency for the body to twist at the hips during this exercise. There is a natural tendency for the body to counteract the imbalance created by using one hand.
Although the archer push ups also mitigate the bending and twist at the hips by allowing the supporting hand to stabilize the body throughout the movement. The stabilizing arm in the archer push up helps to maintain strict form before advancing to a one arm push up.
Creates Unusual Power with Anti-Rotation
The ability to place both arms on the ground during a push up eliminates the need for the body to fight any anti-rotation movement.
Regular push ups build core strength with “anti-extension” when maintaining the plank position. Taking one hand away from the equation reveals unbalanced forces that require more stability from the trunk muscles.
The archer push up builds strength with “anti-rotation” and “anti-extension” as well. This is what makes it an incredible abdominal exercise. The same situation occurs in the one arm push up.
This is why the archer push up is a very good way to advance into the one arm push up. It allows you to build incredible core strength that transfer directly to one arm and press upwards, while allowing you to maintain proper form.
Use them according to your goals
You can use push-ups for muscle building, as an endurance or as a progression to advanced calisthenics skills just by changing the arm position or you can reduce or increase the leverage of the movement. This allows you to easily target what want.
How to do the archer push ups?
- Start with a plank position with your arms wider than shoulder-width
- Keep the body in a straight line – do not sag at the hips
- Alternating sides of the dominant hands for the push ups
- Bring the body down to the right by bending the right elbow and extending the left arm outwards to the left side.
- Come back up and into the middle
- Lower the body on the left side by bending the left elbow and extending the right arm to the right side.
Proper form and tips for the archer push ups
Focus on the ground
Hold the floor with the hand under your shoulder. (I like to pretend the floor is a dumbbell handle I’m trying to hold on to.) This will stabilize the shoulder joint, giving you more strength and stamina to effectively press down. And you’ll want every drive you can get, because you can’t use both arms to produce as much energy as you would with a normal push up.
Start by digging your toes into the ground. It will engage glutes and your quads. Next, keep your core braced, as this will also help activate your core the more. Finally, pull your shoulders down – imagine pulling them as far away from your ears as possible – and hold them there. Doing this ensures that only movement occurs in your elbow.
Tuck your elbow
Do not do this exercise wit flared elbows, as this can add stress to your shoulder joints. Instead, keep your elbow firmly to your side as you lower your chest down. This will give you more stability and support as you return to the starting position.
The position of the feet is important in executing the archer push up; because keeping the feet apart forms a broad base that makes push ups easier to perform. When the feet get too close to the archer, it becomes harder to exercise. Keeping the feet together is part of a good form for the archer push up and this is something you should aim to gain as you build strength.
Straight body line
This means that your head, shoulders, waist and feet are in one straight line throughout the movement. Not just down or up. There should be no dipping, hinging or side-to-side movement in the buttocks. Sagging your hips can hyperextend your back causing low back pain.
Straight Supporting arm
When you performing the archer pressing upwards, you want to keep your supporting arm bent and as close to the body line as possible. This is because the muscles of the chest, shoulders, triceps and can provide stability, the arm should be very close to the body. And also, the further away you keep the arm from the body till the supporting arm is straight. This reduces the amount of muscle support that can provide to the movement, thereby increasing the load on the active arm. In good form, keep your supporting arm straight.
Archer Push Up variations
Once you have mastered the art of archer push ups, you can make it challenging for you to build more muscle or get stronger. The following are some of the different types of the archer push ups that you can use to strengthen and build more muscles:
Hand elevated archer push ups:
Slightly raising the supporting hand makes the archer push up challenging. This is because the supporting hand cannot provide a high level of support when it is at a high level.
When you raise your hand to support it, the exercise becomes harder. This is the first variation of the archer push up you can add to your workout routine. Use this variation after you have completed your regular push ups.
Superman Archer Push Ups:
In this variation of the archer push ups the supporting hands are placed in front f your body when performing this exercise. This makes the archer push up harder by lowering the base of the support.
This version engages the core due to the rotational forces involved. In fact, you can elevate the supporting hand in the Superman archer push up, thus making it more challenging.
Archer Push Ups on Gymnastics Rings:
Gymnastics rings bring many different challenges to this variation. Performing any movement in the gymnastics rings involves high levels of trunk performance and stability.
Performing the archer push ups on the rings means that you need to not only overcome the rotational force exerted by your body, but also the instability of the rings it provides as a platform. Another great benefit of using rings is the increased range of motion it gives This helps build muscle and strength by recruiting muscle fibres at a new level.
Decline archer push ups
Doing the decline archer push ups allows you to place more stress on your chest, shoulders, and triceps by placing your body weight on the working hand. But it also forces small muscles such as the upper chest and the anterior deltoid to do a lot of work, thus making the movement a little different from the standard archer but still harder to perform.
Handstand Archer Push Ups
The handstand push up is a completely different exercise. This is because the handstand push up is more of a vertical pressing movement than the regular horizontal pressing movement of the push up.
The muscles emphasized in both movements are slightly different. The handstand archer lifts upwards like a decline archer push ups because it points above the inner deltoid and triceps, while also recruiting fibers of the upper chest muscles.
Doing the handstand archer push ups is a great way to focus more on building strength and muscle on this exercise. It is best when doing the handstand archer push ups to use a wall support by placing your feet against the wall. This will allow you to keep proper form and reduce the risk of injury.
Typewritter push up
In this version the archer goes up, instead of going up and down, you will move from one arm to the other while you are in the lower position. Most importantly, you can combine the typewriter pushups with most of the archer push up variations.
Pike Archer Push Up
In this variation, you will do the archer push up from the pike position. This is a good exercise for your triceps and shoulders.
Finger tip archer push up
In this the fingertip archer pushup, your finger tip will be the one on the floor instead of your palms. This can help you to advance towards the one arm finger push tip. one arm above.
Single leg archer push up
With this variation, you will be suspending one leg in the air. You can lift any leg you want. But always remember that you are training both sides equally.
This exercise will help you to strengthen your hip flexors and progress toward one arm and one leg push up up.
Spiderman-Archer Push Up
This is combining both the Spiderman and archer push up together. To do this exercise, all you have to do is move the knee towards your relief arm as you descend into the bottom position. As your pushing back, return the leg to its original position. For an additional challenge, you can pause at the bottom position.