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How to Do a Swan Push-Up for an Arm Workout

Learn how to do a swan push-up from personal trainer Brett Azar in this Howcast home arm workout for men video.


I'm going to go over with you how to do a swan push-up. These are kind of unorthodox. You don't see them often. They're done more so in yoga than in a gym setting, but they're great for warm-up, and burnout, meaning at the end of the workout, really filling your muscle up with blood. They're primarily a tricep exercise. Because it's a push-up, you're still going to work your chest, but you're going to keep your elbows in and use your triceps to push your body up. Now, it's called a swan push-up because your legs are going to remain on the ground. So your hands are forward, and you're using your triceps to push your body up off the ground. Now with this, your lower back is going to stay real tight. This is a great lower-back exercise at the same time. Coming down, you're going to control your body weight with your tricep, and repeat. It's much like a close-grip push-up or a diamond push-up, but your legs are taken out of it, and there's a lot of focus on your tricep, which is why I say it's great as a burnout. So, if you do your push-ups to the point where you can't do any more, you can drop your legs to the ground and finish with these, and really try to get a couple more reps out of it. My clients, depending on who they are, might have a little bit of an ego problem doing something called a swan push-up, so I also call these the walruses, just because of the position that you're in. It's like you're a walrus or a seal. Bad habits that you see with this is flaring elbows. You don't want to flare your elbows out, you want to keep them tight in your body. And also you don't want to come all the way down and take the pressure off your tricep. You want to keep tension on that muscle at all times. That's the way you get the most benefit and better results. So your hands are out forward, you're dropping down. It's OK to let your elbows touch, as long as you keep that tension right through your triceps, and just really pump it out. Fill that muscle up with blood. And that's a very basic swan, or walrus, push-up.

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