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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

Fancy increasing the intensity of your workout by a few notches? Try clap push-ups

It’s the regular push-up’s bigger, bolder brother.

The clap push-up has to be done explosively to get the full benefit.
The clap push-up has to be done explosively to get the full benefit.
Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

IF YOU’RE TEMPTED to take your first steps into a new exercise programme over the coming weeks you could do an awful lot worse than including a few sets of push-ups in every session.

Why? Well you don’t need any props, the benefits are felt quickly, you can do them anywhere, and improvement is easy to monitor. But why stop there? Let’s introduce you to the bigger, older, badder brother – the clap push-up.

These are a great variation of the basic push-up but by introducing plyometrics (bounding) using both hands, you get a better, more painful workout.

Here’s how.

Step 1: Get into the push-up position, keeping your back straight and your shoulders, hips and ankles all in a straight line. Next, engage your core – never waste an opportunity in any workout to do this. This helps your maintain correct form throughout the clap push-up.

Now drop down, slowly, and with your arms as close together as possible get your elbows to tuck in close to your ribs.  Having your elbows sticking out to the side is NOT the most effective way to do a push-up (or clap push-up).

The next step is where the magic happens.

Step 2: Explode upwards using your hands to propel you, taking your hands off the mat and while they’re off the mat clap your hands together. You should be off the mat just long enough to perform this.  If you’re not able to perform a clap, try to get your hands off the mat (or the ground) for some time anyway.

Be very careful not to exaggerate how good (or bad) you are and whatever you do, don’t face-plant the ground.  You’ll have a job explaining that to the insurance crowd.

Take your time and get it right. It’s all about quality.

Don’t fool yourself by saying you’ve done 50 clap push-ups. Do 15 or 20 properly and you will be in sheer agony if it’s your first time.

Take a rest and do two more sets.

– First published 06.30

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