Push-ups are a basic exercise used in athletic training or during physical education classes or commonly in military physical training. Push-ups are commonly performed, easy to execute, multi-joint upper body exercise that do not require expensive equipment. Thus, they can be readily included in a fitness program. In fact, push-ups have been recommended to be one of the best practical upper body exercises that can be used to enhance fitness. Depending on the variations, push-ups can be progressed, regressed, and performed throughout a training year.
Push-ups have also been evaluated as an upper body strength test and are often included on standardized fitness tests including those used for school children and military recruits. . Training with traditional and plyometric push-ups produces increased upper body strength and power. Push-ups are also commonly used to evaluate muscular endurance and can be modified to yield similar results between men and women. It’s safe to say that everyone is already familiar with the push-up as a key movement in the pursuit of physical fitness.
THE BASIC PUSH-UP
- Starting from a basic plank position, with your arms straight, wrists under shoulders, body in a straight line, legs straight and feet behind you.
- Make sure your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at the elbow and lead with your chest to lower down, keeping your body in that straight line, and then straighten your elbows to lift yourself back up.
- Make sure when you bend your elbows go out to the side and that your gaze is on the ground so your neck is long, rather than looking up which can strain your neck a bit.
- Assume the basic push-up position, Instead of resting your palms down on the ground, elevate your hands on extended fingers.
- Maintain this position throughout the upward and downward cycle of the push-up.
- Assume a plank position, and then spread your arms out as far as you comfortably can.
- Complete the push-up by lowering your chest to the ground, then pressing back up to the plank position, while staying tight through your trunk and hips.
THE TRICEP PUSH-UP
- Assume a basic plank position, also the same way you start a basic push-up.
- This time keep both hands under your shoulders and shoulder width apart so when you bend your elbows to lower down, your elbows should be straight behind you rather than out to the side.
THE SINGLE LEG RAISE PUSH-UP
- Starting from the basic push-up (hands a bit wider than shoulders, arms straight, and body in straight line).
- Bend your elbows out wide to lower down, lift your right leg straight behind you about a foot about the left. When you straighten your elbows to lift back up, lower your right leg down.
- Switch legs after recommended number of reps or so, to get a symmetrical workout.
THE SPIDERMAN PUSH-UP
- Starting from a single leg push-up position, then drop to the ground, while simultaneously bringing the knee of the elevated leg to nearly make contact with your elbow of the same side.
- As you drop to this bottom position, play with turning your head to that same side, for a bit of trunk rotation.
- I’d suggest alternating sides with each repetition, but you can certainly attempt a bunch on one side, before alternating.
THE DIAMOND PUSH-UP
- Assuming the modified push-up position on your knees but with your hands together in front of you and back flat.
- Spread your fingers so that your right thumb touches the left thumb, likewise your right index finger touching the left index finger thereby forming a diamond shape. Extend your arms
- Allow your elbows to break, lowering your chest toward the floor making sure your back is still flat.
- Press back up to full arm extension, repeating recommended number of repetition
- Stand facing a wall, bench or a firm elevated object or structure. Lean slightly and place hands on the edge of the bench or on the wall just wider than shoulder width.
- Position your feet back from bench or structure aligning your arms and body straight. Make sure your arms must be perpendicular to body.
- Lower chest to edge of bench or structure by bending arms. Push body up until your arms are extended.
ONE-ARMED INCLINE PUSHUP
- Position your hand on the ground at chest level and midway between your shoulders.
- You’ll note that as you drop down, the hand feels quite internally rotated, and your elbow sticks out to the side more than on regular push-ups.
- Make sure to do both sides for strength symmetry!
- Find a park bench or stairway that you can use for this push-up. Lie on the floor face down and your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Flip things around so that your feet are supported above your chest. Raise body in plank position with body straight and arms extended.
- Push body up until arms are extended.
- Repeat recommended number
- Start by just pushing up hard and fast enough that you can lift your hands completely off the ground.
- Once you’ve got that mastered – add the clap.
- Bring your hands together to make some noise, prior to dropping back down to the starting position.
- Start by placing your hands slightly higher than shoulder height, then stick your bottom in the air.
- Drop your head downward to the ground to a target between your hands, then push back upward along an angle.
- Make sure to breathe with this one!
DIVE BOMBER PUSH-UP
- Assume the pike push-up position, then drop your chest down and between your hands.
- Make sure you keep your momentum going forward and begin to rock upward into a position known as “upward dog” in yoga practice.
- Finish the push-up by rocking down and backward, bringing your chest to the ground again, and then back upward to the starting pike position.
- Start by placing your hands on the ground, with your fingers rotated backwards, pointing to your feet.
- Lower your chest to the ground from this position, and then return to the start.