The push up is a great body exercise that can get you in shape and improve your overall physical condition. It is an exercise that works and shapes the whole body. However, there are a few ways to optimize your push up workout so that you can rip its benefits and see faster results.
The push up is a full body exercise, and when performed properly, it will activate a large number of muscle groups in your body. Primarily, it will activate your shoulder muscles, chest muscles and triceps. Secondary, it will activate your lats, and abdominal muscles and last – it will activate your lower limb muscles. The push up should take part in every workout routine and should be used by both males and females as it’s performed by using only your own weight.
You can do them anywhere and after any sports activity (running, jogging,basketball, biking etc) to finalize your workout with complete activation of almost all skeletal muscles, or you can use them as warm up, prior to an upper body weight lifting session.
However, despite the fact that it’s a great exercise, the standard push up workout can become boring and ineffective after a while. Fortunately there are a few modifications to the standard push up that can “upgrade” your workout, make it less boring and let you advance once you hit a plateau. Here they are:
Beginner or bent knee push up
Instead of standing on your toes with your legs straight, you should bend your legs and touch the ground with your knees. You should position your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart (around 2 inches). If you can manage to make at least 30 of these then you can go to the next level – the basic push up.
Basic push up
Legs are straight and you should touch the ground with your toes. Hands should be positioned a little wider than shoulder width apart. Positioning of your hands closer will activate your triceps more while positioning them wider will activate chest more. You should lower yourself to a position where your chest touches the ground and then lift yourself all the way back up.
Wide hand and close hand push up
Like we mentioned the wide hand push up will primarily work your chest, while close hand push up will work your triceps and shoulders a lot more than your chest. If you want to make them harder, try lowering yourself slow (about 4-5 seconds).
Fist push ups
This kind of performance brings a greater challenge because the balance of the body will be significantly impaired.You should protect your fists by placing them on some soft surface.
Incline push ups
These are similar to the basic push up with one significant difference – your legs should be resting on a platform or chair. This makes incline push ups way tougher than regular ones and they also work your upper chest, shoulders and triceps harder than the basic exercise.
One arm push ups
When you have mastered all the other variants you can try this one for size.The legs should be spread wider than shoulders and you should concentrate on transfer of weight on one side (on the hand that touches the ground). When you can accomplish 10 of these, you will be worthy of the title “Though guy”.