Chest Exercises

The "Earthquake Pushup" Workout to Challenge Your Core Stability

The “earthquake pushup” employs a band as your base, making this unstable exercise a serious challenge.

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The Earthquake Pushup
Marius Bugge

A pushup on a suspended band instead of on the floor, a move known as the “earthquake pushup.” “This pushup version challenges stability and control during a simple movement because the band creates an unstable surface,” says Matt Pudvah, head strength coach for the Manchester Athletic Club in Manchester, MA.

WHY DO IT

Pudvah says the slow and deliberate nature of this exercise challenges you to stabilize through your shoulders and maintain good posture. It can also make you more durable. “Instability at the shoulder is often the cause of injury, so training an exercise like this one, when done correctly, will help reduce the chance of injury occurring at the shoulder joint.”

WHEN DO IT

Mix in earthquake pushups in place of any of your regular upper-body accessory push exercises.

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Set up the J-hooks of a squat rack as you would for a Romanian deadlift, sans the barbell.
  2. Loop A 2-to-4-inch superband (a narrower band creates more instability) across the J-Hooks, so it stretches across the rack.
  3. Place your hands on the band and get into a good pushup position, with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  4. Perform a pushup, pausing at the bottom and ascending slowly back to the top.

Pro Tip: Pause at the bottom. Otherwise, the band will help shoot you back to the top position, reducing the effectiveness.

THE WORKOUT

Earthquake Pushup: 3-5 sets of 6-10 reps

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