Just when you think you’re in shape, you come across someone like Mark Langowski, who will put whatever advanced variation on a push-up you’ve concocted to shame. The celebrity trainer and author of Eat This, Not That! For Abs is not only known for his washboard (12-pack?) abs, but for conceiving uniquely challenging workouts to push anyone, no matter their fitness ability, to the next level.
1. Reverse burpee
Aim for 12 reps.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and tilt at the waist, bending over until your hands touch the floor. Now slowly walk your hands forward until you are in a push-up position, but with your hands only 6 inches apart. Do a push up. Then walk your hands back to the starting position, bend your knees and stand up.
2. Regular burpee with push-up
Aim for 12 reps.
Place your hands on the floor about shoulder width apart, and extend your legs so your weight is balanced on your hands and toes. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Inhale as you bend your elbows to lower yourself until your chest is almost touching the dumbbells, then exhale as you straighten your arms and push your body up until your arms are straight. Now jump your feet forward so they land just behind your hands, your knees bent. From this position, jump up into the air and clap your hands over your head. Land with your knees bent and your hands back on the floor, then jump your feet backward until you’re back in the original pushup position. Continue without stopping until you’ve performed 12 reps.
3. Split lunge with bicep curl
Aim for 12 reps for each leg with this move using 15- to 25-pound dumbbells.
Hold the weights at your side. Now, as if you were standing on a balance beam, with one foot in front of the other, separate your feet 2 feet apart. Inhale as you kneel down; your front knee should be at 90 degrees and your back knee should almost touch the ground. Sit down into the glute of your front leg. Exhale as you press back up to the starting position. Do 12 reps on that leg. Then repeat with the other leg.
4. Squat into shoulder press
Aim for 12 reps using 10- to 20-pound dumbbells.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes turned out slightly, hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, elbows bent, and palms facing you. Sit back with your hips and lower your body as far as you can without rounding your lower back. Push your knees out as you descend and keep your chest up. Once you are in a stable squatting position, press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are straight, then return them to shoulder height. Now, pushing off your heels, straighten your legs as you return to the starting position.