Learning to love what you hate and the push-up/plank waterfall

by Kim on January 8, 2014

When I was a kid, I took piano lessons for over a decade.

One day, I told my teacher I was much more comfortable playing in sharp keys than flat ones, and guess what that crazy B did? She proceeded to only pick songs with flats from then on. Price of honesty, folks.

I remember being mad. Why did I have to open my big mouth?? Now I’m stuck with all these stupid flat songs that are impossible to play.

I bet you know what happened next. Eventually, after months of torture, I flip-flopped. Turned into a Flat Girl, against all odds.

To this day, I’m better at flats than sharps. And it’s weird that it was ever the other way around.

Push-ups are my fitness version of flats. I used to hate them, but it was mostly because I couldn’t do them.


When chipper group fitness instructors would demand push-ups “and not the girly kind!” I would rebel in my head. But we are girls!! Girls have less upper body strength than guys do! And dangit, I can barely even do these on my knees! Is 3 enough??

It took awhile, but eventually–after some major growing pains–I got out of my own way and realized I could actually do push-ups. Real ones. Several of them.

So now, of course, I love ’em. I mean, not actual love, like I’m literally having the time of my life doing push-ups. But I’m empowered by them. And I don’t hate them at all anymore.

You probably want to bust me with the whole “the opposite of hate is indifference” thing, but my feelings towards push-ups are further boosted by the fact that I think they’re one of the most effective exercises you can possibly do for your body.

One of two–and the other is planks.

And that’s why I bring you today: the push-up/plank waterfall.

Push Up Plank Waterfall

As push-ups go down, plank lengths go up. Just make sure you build in plenty of time for REST between sets. You’ll need it.

I did a version of this last night–or, really, I did a couple pieces of a couple versions of this. The way I originally wrote this ended up being waaaay too hard. Like stupid hard. Like start-modifying-things-2-minutes-in hard.

So this is Version 3, and I’m finally happy with it. I balanced out my mangled testing/rewriting workout with a 10-minute run last night and threw in the towel.

Is there something you used to hate that, with some growing pains, you learned to love?



{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

char eats greens January 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

I really do need to work on my upper body strength. I can’t even lift my arms up for very long to look flip through clothing on a rack. I think I’ve shared too much already!


Kim January 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Hahaha you’re hilarious! I think you should just shove your body into the racks sideways instead. If you want to record yourself doing that and send it to me, that would probably be fine too, haha. :)


Leslee @ Her Happy Balance January 10, 2014 at 11:28 am

This is an awesome workout! I really need to work on both of these exercises. I can do 3 or 4 real push-ups so I’m sure I could modify this and slowly work up more stamina.


Larissa January 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Just did this (after yoga this evening). My arms are shaking!
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Good for you!! It’s no joke!


Rachel@curious runner girl January 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm

This is a great workout! I used to hate planks but they aren’t too bad. I also used to hate running and now I have a blog about running… Oh the irony :)
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm

hahaha :) love it


Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome January 8, 2014 at 8:20 pm

What a great workout! I used to hate doing squats the weight bar hurt my shoulders and my lower back would always ache. After practice and some direct instruction from The Hubby on better from I don’t hate them as much as I did. Don’t necessarily love them but they are growing on me :-) I just started Crossfit and I am hating pull-ups because I SUCK at them! Those and toes to the bar are my rivals right now! I used to use the excuse that I was tall so I just couldn’t do them. Then the other day a girl about the same height as me jumped on and busted them out in no time! I’ve got a long way to go but I hope to get there!
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm

YES I was (and still am) the same way about squats!!! My lower back always aches. I even asked my BodyPump instructor about it once and she said my core was probably weak (but I felt like it wasn’t that bad, haha). I’d say I still hate bar squats!

I don’t really do pull-ups but I’m sure I’d hate them if I tried. :) (I used to do a few on the monkey bars when I’d take Mason to the park in the summer–I could maybe squeeze out 2!) I bet you’ll master pull-ups and have a complete change of heart about them. :)


Ja @Ja on the RUN January 8, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Yay! Good for you! I still struggle doing the push ups the right way. But I want to learn and beat the guys! Lol! Just kidding! :)
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Haha! Hey I’m sure there are SOME guys you’re beating right now, just by trying. :)


Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness January 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

So I love you and hate you at the same time for this workout. I love you because this is totally something I should be doing and it’s a brilliant workout. But I hate you because push-ups and planks are big fat jerks. :)
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Oh I hear ya–I hated myself so much while testing it last night. But then I woke up with sore triceps and felt like a baller. Not quite a BOLLER but close. :)


Katie January 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm

15 pushups to start with?!?! holy cow! I have three sets of 8 pushups in my sculpt class. And doing 8 at a time is plenty! But I might add a few holds in to mix it up and increase the strength!
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Haha you should have seen the original version!! I must have been high.


Kim January 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

This looks awesome!! I’m participating in a January challenge with planks and push-ups but as soon as I finish (or maybe one day anyway) I’m going to try this! I used to be just like you – I didn’t even attempt push-ups on my toes. Then when I went through P90X for the first time I decided that I might as well go for it!! Now I do push-up variations of all types and love them!
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Yes! Awesome.


Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat January 8, 2014 at 1:31 pm

I pretty much hate push-ups, but I know they’re a great exercise so I try to do them; although I can’t do that many regular ones. It’s definitely something I need to work on. Thanks for sharing this workout! It looks like a great way to start getting into push-ups more.
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Kim January 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I just like how convenient push-ups are. Also, sometimes when I’m freezing cold and can’t seem to warm up, I’ll thrown down a few. :)

Maybe they’ll grown on you someday! :)


Katie @ running4cupcakes January 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Yes! Burpees! I hated them until I started doing them on a semi-regular basis for my aerobics class and now I find that they are a really great part of my workouts.


Kim January 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Haha! I’ve been soooo predisposed to hating burpees, just from hearing so many people say that, that when I actually do them, I always worry that maybe I’m doing them wrong because I’m not immediately dying. When you build something up in your head enough, it can never actually live up to it! (In a good way, in this case!)


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