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"Tiger" Push-Up

Tiger Push Up-1
Tiger Push Up-2
Tiger Push Up-3

  1. Place feet shoulder width apart against wall with hands in narrow "diamond" position under forehead.

  2. Press hips and center body up into inverted or folded position (similar to the yoga "downward dog" position).

  3. Lower upper body as you bring forehead to backs of hands then press back up as you extend and lock arms out.

  4. Note: The Tiger is similar to the "Pike" Push Up, but the Pike has hands shoulder width apart and feet are on ground.  If the Tiger is too difficult, try performing the Pike Push Up.

  5. Review Pike Push Up

Exercise Figure Tips: Push ups are usually thought of as "arms and chest" exercises but they are underrated as "core" exercises. To perform a "proper" military push-up you need to have a strong core to keep the plank position.  People with weak cores doing push ups will shift their butts back (to unload core) or sag their hips (core is not strong enough to lift body into plank position). There are not many exercise more functional and beneficial than the old school military push-up, but very few people can do them correctly due to weak cores.

  • Inverted type push ups like the martial arts "Tiger" version are great for added shoulder challenge.  You not only put more load on shoulders but also must have increased mobility with the inverted position as you reach overhead.  Shoulder strength is useless if you don't have good mobility to go with the strength.  Using various push up positions that split hands and invert body are good ways to balance both strength and mobility.  If you want to use your shoulders explosively in multiple planes of motion, the Tiger, Cobra, Pike, and other split or plyo versions are great.

  • I learned the Tiger Push Up from studying James. W. DeMile.  DeMile was one of Bruce Lee's original students and wrote the book Bruce Lee's Power Punch--interesting study if you enjoy martial arts and mind/body training. 

  • The Tiger is a VERY serious and difficult push up (note my red face above!).  If you've got the chi and fitness, the Tiger will bring an extra challenge.  If you can't do a proper "Military Push-Up" then the Tiger is NOT for you!

*Note: This exercise is intended for "normal healthy" individuals.  If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. 

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(Updated 10-19-05)

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