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What Is a Reverse Push Up?

author image Kevin Rail
I am very genuine and magnetic on camera, and have made numerous videos on my own for clients and other organizations that I'm affiliated with. I also have a degree in Sport Management, and multiple certifications to back up my validity. I've also been featured in three different exercise infomercials and had a speaking role in a National Lampoons movie.
What Is a Reverse Push Up?
A woman is doing a pushup. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

When you exercise, you have many different options as far as weights go. You can use dumbbells, barbells, weight machines, resistance bands or medicine balls. All of those tools are effective if you have access to them. Those who don't resort to body weight exercises to get in shape or stay in shape. A reverse pushup is one such exercise.


A reverse pushup is the complete opposite of a regular pushup. Your hands and feet are still contacting the ground, except you are in an inverted position. This type of exercise can help build the shoulders, arms, legs, core and upper back all in one fell swoop. Not to mention, a reverse pushup can also increase your flexibility.


The reverse pushup is not a beginner exercise. In fact, it is actually quite challenging. To do it, start out lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the ground by your ears with your palms flat and your fingers facing your feet. Your elbows should be up in the air at this point. Lift your hips up toward the ceiling and simultaneously push your shoulders off the floor by activating your arms. Fully extend your arms, arch your back and lift your heels off the floor. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground and repeat. When you lift your body up, you should form a nice, consistent arc and your head should be hanging straight down.


Reverse pushups can be integrated into a body weight circuit routine. For example, you can do regular pushups, incline pushups, decline pushups, dips, reverse pushups and lunges. Then you can finish with a minute of jumping rope.


Being that reverse pushups are intense and they incorporate a large amount of your body, you should keep your reps low. Aim for six to eight when you first start out and work your way up as you get used to them.


Reverse pushups are done a completely different way in the bodybuilding world. They are actually called "weighted supine rows." Supine means the front of your body is facing up. To do these, you need a Smith machine and a workout bench. Place the bench parallel to the Smith machine and adjust the bar so it is just higher than the length of your arms from the ground. Lie under the bar and place your heels up on the bench. Reach up and grab the bar in a wide overhand grip. Keep your back completely straight and pull your chest up to the bar. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.


If you have never worked out before, or have not worked out in a long time, it is a good idea to get your doctor's approval before doing any high-intensity exercise. Also, be very sure of your hand and foot placement when you do reverse push ups. If you are in the midpoint of the exercise and your hand or foot slips out to the side, you can seriously hurt yourself.

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