The push up… next to the burpee, it’s one of the most hated exercises. Push ups will quickly let you know how weak your upper body is, and for a strength move, you might find yourself out of breath after only a few reps! For these reasons, I am a huge fan of the push up. In one simple move you can attack your chest, shoulders and core. With the variations below, you can hit even more muscles with a few tweaks. Check out these moves to find the right push up for you (or try them all!)
1. Wide Stance Modified Push Ups
This push up is a bit easier than your standard push up. Position your hands wide, finger facing each other. As you lower your chest, your elbows should go outward, working mostly your chest. Your feet should come up in the air as your chest goes down, and feet drop as chest comes up. Imagine you’re a lever!
2. Narrow/Tricep Modified Push Ups
This push up changes slightly with the elbows hugging the sides of your body. When done correctly, you will feel this move in the back of your arms, or the triceps. Again, your body should move like a lever while in the kneeling position. (Feet rise as chest lowers, and vice versa.)
3. Wide Stance Standard Push Ups
Here you take the push up to your toes. This will be more challenging because you are holding up more body weight than in the modified position. Again, the hands are wide, and elbows go outward as you lower your chest to the ground. Squeeze your abs as this variation will challenge your core!
4. Tricep/Narrow Push Ups
This move is the same as #2 but on your toes. Your elbows should hug the sides of your body, forcing the triceps to do most of the heavy lifting. Most people find this more difficult, which is all the more reason to try it out till you master it! Unlike me in this picture, try to keep your chest and hips at the same level. You should be able to kiss the ground when you do the perfect push up!
5. Plyo Push Up from Modified Push Up
Now we’re taking it up a notch. If you’ve mastered the moves up above, adding a plyo or
jumping element will definitely give you a new challenge! Start in the kneeling push up position. Lower your chest like normal, but this time push up hard enough to get air under your hands! Keep your elbows bent to brace the fall on the way down!
6. Plyo Standard Push Up
Finally the last variation, is the plyo push up from the standard push up position. Begin in push up position on toes and lower chest to ground. At bottom of the push up, push off the floor like you mean it so that hands come off the ground. Bonus points if you can get your feet off the ground at the same time! This move will ignite your chest and abs.
What’s your favorite push up move? Leave a comment below and let me know how you do!
Until next time, keep it moving!
Copyright August 2015