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Make your muscles tingle

Spider-Man pushup taps your inner superhero

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Spiderman pushups are demonstrated by a mixed martial artist trainer from OC Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts.

ISAAC ARJONILLA/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/MCT) Enlarge Image

Spiderman pushups are demonstrated by a mixed martial artist trainer from OC Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts.

Here's something to aspire to: superhero status.

Yoko Hamamura, a personal trainer and instructor at OC Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts in Irvine, Calif., calls this one the Spider-Man Pushup.

And the way he performs it, it really does look like our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler scrambling. Except it's not up the side of a Manhattan building, it's horizontally along the floor of a gym -- or the carpet of your living room, if that's where you prefer to live out your Marvel dreams.

The Spider-Man is basically a pushup with a plot twist:

-- Use your arms to lower your body down, regular-pushup style. Allow yourself a wide stance.

-- As you descend, bring your left knee out to the side.

-- Tilt your head to the side a bit, all the better to watch the knee come forward.

-- Bend the knee until it touches your left elbow.

-- As you push up off the floor, straighten your knee and return to the starting position.

-- Alternate legs until you feel the burn, which should be any time now.

Hamamura says the exercise is good for the lower back and the core muscles, which include everything from the chest and shoulders to the knees and hips.

"A lot of the workouts I do are just core exercises, so that has a lot to do with isometric strength, too, with your hips and your legs," he said.

Make no mistake about it: This is a difficult exercise to master. Hamamura rattles through them smoothly, as if he's part arachnid. For starters, it's not necessary to flare the leg out so much. But if you can progress toward getting that knee closer to the elbow, "that's a good starting point."

Happy crawling.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2014 D16

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