When it comes to arm and chest workouts, nothing is better or more convenient than push-ups. All you need is your body weight and some commitment. But endless military-style pushups can get boring. So once you've perfected the basic shape, switch to one of the more advanced versions. We have put together the best push-up options. First, let's cover some basics.
How do I do classic pushups?
Start in a plank position with your stomach facing the floor and your body weight supported by your hands and feet. The head, back and legs should be in a line with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bend your elbows back to the side of your body and lower your chest to the floor before lifting back to the starting position.
Are pushups healthy?
We all know that exercise and training are good for us. But it's always great to understand the health benefits. According to Harvard, building up your push-up capacity can cause future cardiovascular events to occur less frequently in men.
What muscles do pushups do?
The standard push-up focuses on the chest muscles. If you get into push-up variations, the area of the trained muscles widens. Here are the muscles we will be training with our alternative pushups:
Adding these additional pushups leads to a defined upper body exercise.
Top 5 push-up variants
5 Turn to the side plank
This variant is a great warm-up exercise for your chest and shoulders, but also challenges your balance and trains your abdominal muscles and slopes.
Start with the full plank Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders. Rotate your body slowly to shift your weight to the right side and get to a side plank. Your entire body weight should be supported with your right arm and both feet stacked on top of each other. Raise your left arm directly over your body if you are stable enough. Slowly turn back to start and repeat on the other side.
4 Plyometric Pushups
This pushup variant is sometimes referred to as gossip pushups and requires a lot of upper body strength, but the challenge is a fun one. Start the same way as with standard pushups and lower them to the floor. But once your chest is on the floor, you will push off the floor and lift your hands and entire torso off the floor.
The idea is to raise your hands high enough to clap your hands in front of you and your chest before you return to the starting position and repeat.
3 push-ups incline / lower
Depending on your strength, these variations can be scaled. For those who are just starting out, start with pushups with one hand on a weight bench, a staircase, or other surface that's one to two feet off the floor. Lower your chest to the step and lift it up as usual.
If you are a little stronger, you can reject pushups that are exactly the opposite and put more of your body weight into your upper body. Place your feet on the same type of raised surface and lower and raise them as before.
2 pushups with a wide grip
To train more of your pectoral muscles – the pectoralis major and minor – use this variant for your next training session. The principle behind this variant is that the further your hands are apart, the more the movement is aimed at your pectoral muscles and the closer your hands are to each other, the more it targets your triceps.
The most important thing to remember is not if you spread your hands too far, there is a risk of shoulder injury. Place your hands just a few inches wider than the shoulder distance and go through the standard range of motion.
1 diamond pushups
From the default starting position, bring your hands toward the center so that your thumbs and forefingers form a diamond shape under your face. This variant targets the triceps muscles. Since these muscles are usually weaker than your biceps, you want to do fewer reps. You can also change it by dropping to your knees in the plank position or placing your hands on a raised surface such as a bench or stairs so less weight needs to be lifted.
If you can work through all of these pushes. With variations you are on the best way to a strong, shaped upper body. And the great thing about pushups is that you can do them regardless of your age or gender. Whether you're a man or a woman, young or old, you should try to include a few sentences in every workout or warm up.