You know the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover?” Well, that phrase was coined because of this very exercise. This looks incredibly easy and boring, but it will sneak up on you and deliver amazing results.

The Push-Up to Vertical Reach is simplistic, which is why I like it, but simple does not mean easy. When performed properly, this can be one of the best bang for your buck exercises in your arsenal!

Here’s how you do it:

First, set up in a push-up position with elevated hands. No matter how jacked and strong you are, I suggest elevating the hands to optimize the body angles for core activation.

Check your foot stance. If they are closer together, this is going to make it harder. Feet further apart will make it less challenging. Find a good foot position for you and use that as a means of progression. Remember, at the end of the movement, you’re going to have two bases of support: One hand, and your feet.

Next, perform a perfect push-up starting from the top position. As you concentrically push yourself up, release one hand and reach overhead as you complete the push-up. Keep your ribs from flaring up and don’t let your back overextend.

As you do this push-up and reach combo, you also want to exhale smoothly and powerfully. Get all of the air out of your lungs. Even when you have no air to exhale, keep exhaling. I stole that from Bill Hartman. He’s way smarter than me. And you.

Once you complete one rep, repeat on the other side and alternate. Make sure you truly own your push-up. Do not allow your hips to sway or weight to shift as a compensation pattern. Make this the toughest core exrecise you’ve ever done! Trust me, you’re going to love the results. Program this literally anywhere in your training and it can fit right in! Try it out and let me know what you think!