Push-up(s) to the extreme
Push-ups are probably the most effective exercises out there. This exercise can be done almost anywhere, it requires no specific equipment, it will help you build muscles, and can be done under various forms.
So, how are you with push-ups? How many reps can you do and in how many ways? Are you interested in changing things up a bit? In this article, you can find the most popular ways that will help you perform a great push-up and how to do it.
Armaholics know that push-ups are no joke. The exercise involves plenty of muscle groups and can become very demanding. They require a lot of strength and plenty of effort. Performing push-up variations on the other hand, can be quite effective for building muscles and strength. Can you do push-up variations? If not, it’s time to challenge yourself to do any of the following:
- Traditional push-ups – the original press-up exercise that we all know about. It’s performed in a prone position by raising and lowering your body with the help of your arms. Push-ups work on your pectorals, triceps, and anterior deltoids.
- Wide-grip push-ups – great for exercising your chest muscles. The wider the grip, the more your pectorals are demanded to put in extra effort. Use the same traditional push-up position, but place your hands at a wider angle.
- Close-grip push-ups – exercises the triceps specifically. Place your hands slightly narrower than shoulder width and from the same prone position as before, lower and raise your body. Keep your body straight throughout the exercise for maximized results.
- Eccentric push-ups – will emphasize the muscle lengthening of the push up. So from the same starting position as the traditional push-up, raise your body up and lower your body slow in a 4 count. As soon as you reach down, raise yourself up as fast as you can and repeat.
- Spider-Man push-ups – will improve your hip, core mobility and target your obliques. Start in a prone position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width. Press up to a high plank as you laterally flex your hips and bring your knee to your triceps. Repeat on the other side.
- Decline push-ups – target your chest and shoulders. Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width and place your feet on a bench. Keeping your body straight, lower your chest to the floor until until your arms are bent. To return to the original position, push your body up until your arms are completely extended.
- Inclined push-ups – will work your chest and triceps. As opposed to the Decline Push-Up, you will be facing the bench this time. Place your hands on the edge of the bench, slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping your body straight, lower the chest to the edge of the bench until arms are bent. Then push yourself back up until arms are extended and repeat.
- Hindu push-ups – are an amazingly efficient way to increase your flexibility. This type of push-up begins with a little yoga style to the dog position while requiring additional shoulder support. While performing this position, you will start stretching your calves, hamstring, hips and also the back.
- Fingertip push-up – are one of the newest ways to train your strength and become a lot more powerful. From the same original position, perform this push-up by ‘grabbing’ the floor with your fingertips. If you feel that you do not have the strength to perform the fingertip push-up yet, try to take baby steps and start by placing one hand on an object while the other one is supported by the fingertips.
- Wrist push-ups – are more popular within martial arts, gymnasts and other athletes that are looking to discover the limits of their bodies and are ambitious enough to reach their full potential. In order to try this, you need to make sure that you understand the principles of this exercise. From the same original position, place your hands on the floor with the palms facing upwards. Open and close the palms as you raise and lower yourself. Try this on a soft surface because you need to protect the skin of your hands which can be a little sensitive.
- Clap push-ups – are already so popular that it needs no introduction. From the same starting position, raise yourself up as fast as you possibly can, and as soon as your hands leave the ground, clap them together and place them back in the original position to catch your body before you fall.
Remember, the main reason for hundreds of push-ups is increased strength, general health, and even your posture. Traditional push-ups build up your core, so before you try any of these variations, make sure you have a solid and stable core to work with.
Changing up your routine and doing variations of the same exercise can be very beneficial in your training. It is common scientific knowledge that switching things up a bit will reduce the risk of injury and strains, because one slight variation will focus on distributing pressure differently than before, thus preventing damage on the same worked and over-worked muscles.
This video is a great example of how you can change your push-up routine. They seem a little challenging, I know! But how great would it be if you could do some of these? Give them a try and see which of them you can begin to incorporate into your cross training routine. Good luck!