Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry shared a glimpse at his offseason training in a video shared to Twitter recently. In the clip, he can be seen performing pushups while balanced on an exercise ball and a resistance band, with a chain wrapped around his neck for added effect.
The caption for the video describes what Henry is doing as “the most insane pushups man has ever seen,” which might be putting it a little strongly. The chaos band pushup sure looks cool, and it’s certainly not for beginners—but the exercise also won’t build considerable strength, at least not where you think. In fact, it’s actually used to focus on core stability.
This variation is by no means the kind of pushup that everyone should be including in their regular arsenal of bodyweight exercises. If anything, it’s a go-to move for trainers who are programming workouts for clients who are already on the super-fit end of the scale—like, say, NFL player Derrick Henry—to prevent their training sessions from getting too boring. It’s the cherry on top of a smart program, rather than something that a workout should be built around.
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However, as Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S. explains, if you do want to try some type of chaos band variation for yourself, there is a four-step progression to build you up to it.
“Start with a basic pushup,” he says. “When you can do 20 to 30 reps without difficulty, then you’re ready for the next level, which is when you introduce instability via that resistance band on the arms. Suddenly, you’ll find that it’s much, much harder. Then, to spice things up even more, you add instability to the lower body as well, in the form of the stability ball. Now your core is pivotal in the movement, because it’s the only true dose of guaranteed stability in the formula.”
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