The push-up is one of the most effective strength training exercises, but it gets a bit monotonous at times.
You go up, you go down and you repeat the sequence. Even though it produces results, it’s not all that flashy.
Instead of falling victim to the monotony, try adding a few variations to your routine. You’ll experience the same great benefits, along with a few more.
Note: Before you attempt the intermediate, advanced and extreme variations, be sure to master the traditional push-up.
Traditional push-ups aren’t an option yet for some. If you’re in this group, it’s recommended to build strength with incline push-ups.
Incline push-ups can be done with a wall, box, bench or bar. Begin in a traditional push-up position. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your body should be at about a 45-degree angle, though this angle will vary depending on what you’re using.
Lower your body down, bringing your chest as close to the bench (or whatever you’re using) as possible. Push back up to return to the starting position.
Keep your abs engaged and your body straight throughout the movement. As you become stronger, slowly lower the angle of your body in relation to the floor until you’re able to perform a traditional push-up.
Benefits: Helps build necessary strength for traditional push-ups.
Begin in the traditional push-up position, but instead of placing your hands on the ground, place them on a firm medicine ball.
As you perform the push-up, focus on lowering slowly and exploding up once your chest touches the ball. Continue for desired reps.
Benefits: Targets triceps, similar to a close-grip bench press.
Resistance Band Push-up
To set up, loop a resistance band around one thumb. Wrap the band behind your back and underneath your armpits, and then around the other thumb.
Perform a traditional push-up, but begin from the bottom position.
As you extend your arms and push into the top position, the band will increase the resistance. This accommodating resistance is a great way to build strength.
Benefits: Increases difficulty of a traditional push-up without requiring additional balance variables.
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