- The Split push-ups;
- The Stretch push-ups, and:
- The Twist push-ups.
The two count Split push-up, demonstrated in the video below, is a very powerful push-up that also develops flexibility and increases the range of motion in the arms & legs. It is also the foundation on which the more advanced Shena variations are built upon. It is also referred to as the whipping push-up (Shallaqhi) in reference to the recoil motion done in the end range of the split downward dog (end of the concentric phase of triceps extension) prior to descending back on the Shena again.
Performing push-ups on the Shena has the added benefits of providing a greater range in which your body is moving while shifting your center of mass forward since your hands are tucked further in under your torso compared to a standard push-up. You're also internally rotating the arm at shoulder joint which reduces the stresses placed upon the shoulder joint capsule.
Hypertrophy is best achieved in the eccentric phase of muscle contraction, i.e. muscles lengthening under load, and the split push-up is a great way of leveraging your body to create a more 'loaded' body weight exercise. This exercise is usually performed at the end of the Split push-up series and is done until positive muscle fatigue, i.e. muscle fatigue at the point of maintaining proper form and technique.
It is important to highlight the following points:
- do not drop unto the Shena on the way down
- do not 'bounce' on the Shena or otherwise generate momentum on the way up
- make sure you push into the stretch in every repetition (this initiates the recoil)
- tuck your chin into the chest as you push-up
- keep your legs as straight as possible
For further pointers on how to position yourself with the Shena see the below accompanying video demonstration.