Advertisement

Master The 7 Variations Of The Push-Up For A Bigger Chest

Advertisement

This effective chest builder can be done anywhere, any time – and it works your shoulders, triceps and abs too. And there are a number of great variations that mean you’ll never run out of simple moves that sculpt impressive pecs.

The push-up is often overlooked and considered unworthy of inclusion in many men’s training programmes. That’s a big mistake. Because when it comes to building a bigger and stronger chest, few moves are better than the classic bodyweight exercise that’s still used to separate the army men from the army boys.

Here, we quickly run through the benefits of seven variations so you can build a bigger and stronger upper body.

Push-Up:

The classic push-up is a great exercise for improving muscular endurance in your pecs, front shoulders and triceps, as well as a fantastic way to work these muscles to full failure to encourage muscle size growth. This will work all those muscle fibres in your chest that don’t get worked by your heavy bench presses so you’ll build more muscle size, strength and endurance.

push-up

How to:

  • Start with your hands underneath your shoulders and toes on the floor.
  • Brace your core and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keeping your weight on your arms, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor.
  • Don’t let your hips sag or rise during the set: if they sag, it puts pressure on your back; if they rise, it takes the tension off your chest.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom, with your chest as close to the floor as possible without touching it.
  • Press back up powerfully to return to the start.

 

Diamond Push-Up:

Want bigger arms? The diamond push-up is the move for you because this variation places far greater emphasis on your triceps than your chest to pack on the size on your upper arms.

diamond-push-up

How to:

  • Start in the push-up position but with your hands together so that your thumbs and index fingers form a diamond.
  • Brace your core and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keeping your weight on your arms, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor. Make sure your elbows point back, rather than out to the sides, during the lowering phase of a rep to avoid over-stressing the joint.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom.
  • Press back up powerfully to return to the start.

 

Wide-Arm Push-Up:

Placing your hands wider apart increases the focus on your chest and lessens the involvement of the triceps and shoulders. It’s important to perform the move safely by lowering your torso to the ground slowly and under full control – doing so will both reduce the risk of injury and increase the effectiveness of the move.

wide-arm-push-up

How to:

  • Start in the push-up position but with your hands about double shoulder-width apart.
  • Brace your core and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keeping your weight on your arms, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom, with your chest as close to the floor as possible without touching it.
  • Press back up powerfully to return to the start.

 

Side To Side Push-Up:

This variation is a great way of increasing the difficulty of the basic move to make the muscles of your chest, shoulders and triceps work hard to support, manage and move your body weight up and down and from left to right, while your core muscles need to be fully engaged to keep your torso level for the duration of each rep.

side-to-side-push-up

How to:

  • Start with your hands underneath your shoulders and toes on the floor.
  • Brace your core and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keeping your weight on your arms, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor.
  • As you lower, move your torso left so your head is in front of your left hand.
  • Keeping your chest as close to the floor as possible, move your torso across so your head is in front of your right hand.
  • Press back up powerfully to return to the start, moving your torso back to the middle as you do.

 

Spider-Man Push-Up:

This heroic variation is a move that’s not just about the chest, shoulders and triceps. Your upper and lower abs need to be fully engaged to draw one knee up to your elbow then back down again, and you’ll activate the deep stabilising muscles of your core to keep your whole body stable throughout each rep.

spider-man-push-up

How to:

  • Start with your hands underneath your shoulders and toes on the floor.
  • Brace your core and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keeping your weight on your arms, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor.
  • As you lower, draw one knee up towards your elbow.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom, with your chest as close to the floor as possible without touching it.
  • Press back up powerfully to return to the start, straightening your leg as you do, then repeat with your other knee and alternate with each rep.

 

Dive-Bomb Push-Up:

The very nature of this move means that for the duration of each rep there are a lot of different muscles fully engaged and under tension, which can only be a good thing when you want bigger, stronger and more defined muscles. The down-and-forwards then up-and-backwards movement also makes your chest, shoulders, triceps and core all work.

divebomb-push-up

How to:

  • Start with your hands and feet flat on the floor so that your body forms an inverted V-shape.
  • Brace your core then lower your head and chest towards your hands, moving your torso and head forwards in a smooth arc as your head approaches the ground.
  • Keep moving your upper body forwards in a smooth arc until your eyes are looking forwards and your chest is up.
  • From there, raise your hips to return to the start position.
  • Despite the aggressive-sounding name, the key to this exercise is maintaining a smooth movement path – the whole rep should be fluid and performed at an even tempo.

 

Fingertip Push-Up:

This variation is more about your finger and wrist strength than upper-body strength, so it’s best suited to people who want or need stronger fingers and wrists. If that’s not you but you’re still up for a really big challenge, then give it a go – but don’t get disheartened when you fail! As with anything worthwhile, it takes time and effort.

fingertip-push-up

How to:

  • Start with your hands underneath your shoulders but with just your fingertips in contact with the ground.
  • Brace your core and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keeping your weight on your arms, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom, with your chest as close to the floor as possible without touching it.
  • Press back up powerfully to return to the start.
Advertisement
Advertisement

RUNOFLIF.COM : Any information published on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional health, nutrition or diet advice. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Consult with your physician or seek medical attention before making any health or food related decisions.