Here’s how it works: you place a pole or bar horizontally on a step or ledge just off the ground, so that one end is supported and the other is point out into thin air. Then, using a mix of push and pull force simultaneously, you do a pushup while holding the bar in place.
Browney breaks the challenge down into two steps. First, he practices doing a pushup off the stick while keeping one end on the ground. “I think this is actually quite easy,” he says, completing his rep using a broom handle. “It’s easier than a one-arm pushup.”
Next, he attempts the full version of the magic pushup, placing the bar on a ledge. “I’m actually kind of scared,” says Browney. “This is actually going to be quite hard. I was wrong.” And it’s true; he has extreme difficulty keeping the bar still and stable enough in his hands to put his weight into the move.
In the end, he has to extend his foot to the side for extra stability, which has the effect of making the entire exercise look considerably “less magical.” Not satisfied, however, he works on his form until he’s able to do the pushup with his feet in a standard pushup position. “It’s definitely not impossible,” he says.
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Browney then starts adding new dimensions to the magic pushup challenge; he switches his position so that his feet are holding the bar in place, while his hands are on the ground, taking his body’s weight. After that, he adds another bar to the mix, as well as another ledge on the opposite side, so that each bar is supported on one end.
And finally, he attempts a pushup while completely elevated off the ground, supporting his weight via his hands and feet on four upright weight plates. We’ll have to wait and see as to whether that becomes the next viral pushup challenge.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.
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