We’ve talked about handstands in our upside-down challenge, and attempted to balance on our heads yoga-style as well. Today’s focus is less about balance and more about how getting sort of upside-down can help you work on strength.
These are a helpful move if you’re working up to handstand push-ups, but they’re also great for just building shoulder strength. The video above shows proper form: Your chest comes down to right above your hands, but keep your body straight. Don’t let your back sag, even if it seems to make it easier for your chest to reach your hands.
There’s a good tip toward the end of the video: Grab a pair of parallettes or heavy kettlebells to raise your hands off the floor. That way you can get your chest lower without smushing your nose into the ground.
Decline Bench Press
This is one of the classic exercises that most gyms are equipped for. It’s just a regular bench press, which you can do with a barbell or a pair of dumbbells, but you’re on a slanted bench. Your knees are hooked onto the higher end, and your face is at the bottom.
This works a slightly different set of chest muscles than a regular bench press, so it can be good to work into your routine.
If you want to challenge yourself with sit-ups or crunches, you can do those on a decline bench as well. Hook your knees over the top, lie down, and then try to raise your upper body against the pull of gravity. This doesn’t offer a huge advantage over regular crunches (or weighted crunches), but it’s kind of fun to do.
Have you found any other exercises that work well in the upside down? Let us know!