Yet another way to spice up traditional pushups is to engage the core even more with an added side plank. By doing a pushup and rotating into a side plank, you'll build strength and endurance in the arms and shoulders, since balancing your body weight on one arm is much harder than on two. The rotation fires the obliques and even the legs work harder to keep you stabilized. For a modification, you can try this exercise on your knees
- Begin in a pushup position, on the hands and toes (or on the hands and knees, if you're modifying). Make sure the core is braced and the body is in a straight line from head to heels.
- Bend the elbows and lower into a pushup.
- As you push up, rotate to the left, taking the left arm straight up towards the ceiling and rotating the feet into a staggered position (left foot in front and right foot in back).
- Hold the side plank for a few seconds, then rotate back to your pushup position.
- Do another pushup and, this time, rotate to the right into a side plank, balancing on the left arm.
- Continue pushups with alternating side planks for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps (1 rep includes side planks to the right and left).