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Chain Push up

By Pete Ryan

This exercise idea was actually sparked by Gary. He was talking a while ago on the vegan bodybuilding email list about a book he'd read where the guy did press ups on gymnastic rings. I must admit I thought "Well what use is that? 99.9% of us don't have access to rings, so it's a pointless exercise to include into any training routine.". So, the other day I'd finished my chest, but it was one of those days where you just still had fuel in the tank, so I thought OK I'll think of something else to do, maybe something new....
Anyway, for some reason it just popped into my head, a way to imitate the effect of a gymnastic rings using chains, a barbell & a rack. Now, I'm certainly not taking credit for this 'discovery'. I bet someone, somewhere has thought of this before, but I've not come across it before. It's pretty basic, maybe I even saw it some time, but I've forgotten, so if you've seen it somewhere else I'm not surprised. Basically you set up your rack & barbell like you are about to squat, then simply hang chains round the bar, with the chain forming in a big ring (clip the ends together with a very strong D-clip or similar). You will need some hand protection. I used a pair of "Power grabs" I got for a present a few years ago (thanks Robbie!!!), but any sort of cloth, gloves or similar will work just as well. Now take this one really slow it's not the same as a press-up, you'll activate loads of stabilisers you've never used for press-ups (it's more like dumbbell bench press than a press up in feeling). Simply get into a press-up position, but put your hands through the loop made by the chain. Lower yourself down SLOWLY & only go as far as you can comfortably go. If you get stuck or go down too far the simply sink onto your knees to release the pressure on your upper body. I'd suggest first time you simply support your feet on the floor until you get a feel for the move, then if you want to include the move into your regular training you will probably need to move onto raised feet quite quickly to get extra resistance. This description doesn't sound too easy to "see", so I've include a top & bottom picture, so you can get an idea of one version of press-up you can do using this system, play around & you could get a few more, but you'll see the basic set-up. The top picture is closer to show you how the hands go through the chains etc, while the picture at the bottom is further away to show you how the whole system of chains & rack fits together. Sorry about the quality of the pictures, but I had to get my girlfriend to drop what she was doing & snap a couple, so they're not exactly magazine quality!

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