Single arm push-ups can turn out to be really tough for many fitness fanatics. Immense strength and endurance are required to achieve it. Single arm push-up has eluded many, and only a few can claim to have mastered it.
The archer push-up can be considered as a progression from regular push-ups, and a step forward – achieving the single arm push-up. In archer push-up, the resting arm is extended on the floor horizontally – as compared to on the back in a single arm push-up. In other words, archer push up is an assisted version, or the regressive version of single arm push up.
What is Archer Push-up?
The Archer push up as mentioned above is a progression from push-up and the next step towards a single arm push-up. In single-arm push-up, the inactive arm is required to be rested on the back. However, in archer push-up, the inactive arm is extended horizontally on the floor, or can also be elevated with the help of supporting objects. If the arm is elevated on some objects, the height of the object should remain in between 6 to 12 inches. Archer push-up provides strength which is required to accomplish the classic single arm push-up.
How to do a proper Archer Push-up?
Effects of the exercise routine and workouts will only be visible if you perform the exercises correctly and follow the techniques at each step – till you begin the next rep. Archer pushup is no different.
Now, let’s talk about the correct technique for performing the archer push-up.
1. Push your hand into the floor, with the fingers pointing in the forward direction. The resting arm needs to be placed horizontally either on the floor or on the supporting object. Grip the floor in a way, like you’re pushing your hands into the ground and away from you. It helps you in stabilizing the shoulder and providing the extra strength to push up through the floor effectively.
2. Make sure your body is in the straight line from head to the feet. If the hips are not in line with the upper body, it can cause lower back pain.
3. Now, pull your shoulders down like you’re getting them as far away as possible from the ears. If done precisely, it will ensure your elbow movement is done correctly.
4. It is also necessary to keep your elbow close and tight to your side, as you move your chest down to the floor. Tucking your elbow close to your side gives you more strength to pull up back to your initial position.
5. The forearm of the working arm should be kept upright with the floor throughout the movements. This helps in increasing the activation of your triceps and pecs.
Make sure the resting arm is completely straight while performing all the movements. It is important not to bend it. Also, ensure that the legs are almost touching each other. When the legs are spread, the movement becomes easier and makes no sense.
Benefits of Archer Pushup
Archer push-up is a progression of push-up, and we won’t be doing it if there were no benefits of it. Similar to push-ups, it activates your entire body giving that extra functional strength.
It improves your posture and protects you from shoulder injuries. It helps you prevent lower back injuries and enhances your cardiovascular system.
In the next segment, we will talk about the different muscles in the human body affected by the archer push-up.
Muscle group the Archer Push-up Target
As discussed, archer push-up is an extension of a regular push-up with a little modification, where one arm is in resting position. As seen, it requires a lot more strength and stamina to perform continuous reps of archer push-up. But when performed accurately, the results of archer push-up can be quite rewarding.
Archer push-up targets the shoulders and the chest muscles. It also works on the wing muscle which is directly under your armpit. It also works on the triceps and the abdominals. If performed perfectly, it sets you free from lower back pain as well. It also works on your biceps, abs, and quads.
How Often Should You Perform Archer Push Up
If you’re a beginner, it is advisable to start with regular push-ups. Once you’ve strength to execute at least 30 reps continuously, you can then think of progressing to the archer push up.
If you’re an intermediate and have perfected regular push-ups with some continuous reps, you can switch onto archer push-ups. However, keep the rep range towards the lower end and focus more on the technique to perfect it.
If you’re an advanced level athlete, you can perform the workout five times a week, and maybe make a progression to the single arm push-up.
Archer Push Up Progression
It is not something that cannot be tried, but it is advisable to do it progressively. Once you’re able to do 30-40 reps of regular push-ups and want to build up more core strength – you can turn to archer push up and give it a try.
You can also try regular push-ups with your hands closer to each other, and see if you can complete 20-30 reps without breaking down. If you’re able to do it, you can certainly give archer push-ups a try.
How To Make Archer Push Up More Challenging
Patience and persistence, makes your body accommodate any bodyweight exercise. And workouts which seemed impossible initial becomes less challenging over time. To curate boredom, and keep workout more challenging you can always try variations.
Archer push up can be performed with a number of different variations to make it more challenging.
1. You can lift one, two, three or even four fingers of your resting arm from the floor. It brings more body load on the working arm.
2. You can also try to place your resting arm on some kind of elevated object. Maybe like a dumbbell, kettlebell or a medicine ball.
3. You can try the decline archer push up, or try it with one leg elevated in the air. However, make sure you shift the elevated leg one by one.
By increasing the complexity of the exercise, you help yourself to build a muscular chest.
Archer Pushup vs. Regular/ Wide Pushup
A pushup is one of the most fundamental bodyweight exercises. Depending upon your fitness regime, you can try different variations of pushups. There are literally hundreds of variations to be tried in pushups, regardless of you being a beginner or an advanced level athlete.
Archer push-ups, as discussed above, is basically an extension of the regular/ wide push up. In regular push-ups, your hands are at shoulder distance from each other, in wide push-ups the hands are placed wider than the shoulder width, whereas in archer push up, one hand is referred to as working hand, and other is referred as resting hand.
The resting should ideally be at twice the distance of your shoulder width. However, for beginners, it is advisable to keep it close if your complete body is not in a straight line.
Most of the push-ups primarily focus on your shoulder strength, biceps and triceps, and other different upper body muscles groups. The regular push up enhances your chest and shoulder strength, whereas the archer push up gives a boost to your chest radically. If done correctly, the archer push up provides immense strength to the core, and to other major muscle groups of your body. You can initially try doing it on a plain surface, rather than on the elevated surface. However, if working on an elevated surface, the height of the elevation should not be more than 6 to 12 inches.
In archer push-ups, you push your toes into the ground, which means that the quads and gluts will come into action providing more rigidity to your body. Keeping the elbow tight, and moving to the initial position should be driven through the armpit – rather than through the shoulder. This allows to keep the shoulder in alignment and utilizes the upper back and ribcage.
If you are able to master the art of archer push up, you can always try different variations of the exercise and make progress towards the single arm push up.
The archer push-up, is a true progression towards the single arm push-up, which has kept eluding most fitness fanatics. It might take a while for you to get used to the archer push up routine, but if done patiently, it can be highly rewarding. If you are not able to move swiftly from archer push up to single arm push up, you can always try variations and try to avoid boredom in the fitness regime. Working out with these variations also helps to make good progress towards the single arm push up.
Be patient and be relentless, keep working harder and ace the archer push up. It will make sure, that you get closer to the single arm push up each day.