This year, December has been surprisingly heavy work-wise. For some reason, all of our clients and prospects have asked for a million deliverables before they go on leave. Thanks to whirlwind of activity at work and a personal trip out of town, I wasn't able to hit the gym for almost 10 full days.
When I got back to the gym this Monday (my usual chest day), I decided to try something different. Instead of using the bench press to hit the chest in isolation, I opted to do a series of push-up variations so that I'd hit more body parts than just the chest. Here's how my workout turned out to be:
- 2 sets of regular pushups: This is more like a warm-up
- 2 sets of spiderman push ups (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKBeHALPsSU): The unevenness of the weight distribution hits the obliques in addition to the chest.
- 2 sets of scorpion push ups (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_26f6HTbYn8 0:34 to 0:47): This one does a fantastic job of hitting your core and stretching out your quads. And the raised leg makes for greater stress on your chest.
- 2 sets of dumbbell push ups (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0h1wmPf7YY): One needs to do this using round dumbbells and not hexagonal ones. Since the round dumbbells tend to roll, one has to make use of shoulder muscles just to stabilize the dumbbells, thus making this exercise double up as a shoulder workout. A precaution: this workout can strain the wrists. It helps if this is the last workout so that the wrists don't get strained any further.
So, I did each of these sets with 12 repetitions. So that makes a total of 8 x 12 = 96 push ups. With all the rest breaks, I was wrapped up in a matter of 20-25 minutes.
I think that made for an effective workout, especially since I was getting back from a break :)