If you are doing bodyweight training (perhaps you’re doing the BWF Primer routine, where you may have just come from the Day 3 post!) and are in a situation where you have absolutely no access to something to do rows on, you are in a bit of a sticky situation when it comes to making sure you keep muscular balance between the front and back of your shoulders (and upper body in general).
This is where the Reverse Push-up comes in. It is perhaps the ONLY back exercise that requires no special equipment. This is, of course said with the disclaimer that reverse push-ups are in now way an equal substitute for rows, or really any other more standard back exercise.
Generally speaking they are much more limited in scope for progression, are not as balanced in the way they exercise your back/pulling muscles (disproportionately greater emphasis on the posterior deltoids, less emphasis on the rhomboids/traps, no emphasis on the lats)
How to: Reverse Push-up
Stand in the corner of a room, and move your arms out into a T-pose to rest them against the two walls, with your arms bent and forearms parallel to the floor, (as shown below).
From here, push your shoulders away from your ears, and then push the backs of your arms into the walls while pinching your shoulderblades together to push your body out of the corner. That’s one rep.
The difficulty of this exercise is determine by the distance of your feet from the corner. So to make the exercise harder, you will have to move your feet further away.
The limit of progression is the point that your feet are so far away that the back of your head makes contact with the corner at the bottom of the movement. This is considered the ‘max’ progression of the corner reverse pushup (however the same concept can be applied elsewhere to continue to progress if needed, but is not recommended.)
Optional: Low Corner Reverse Push-ups
If the only corner you have is floor to ceiling (perhaps its a countertop corner) You can also do the reverse pushup in a position as though you are seated in a chair, like so:
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