Push-up variants: Push-ups exercise for an intensive and effective full-body workout!
It is not for nothing that planks, squats and push-ups are among the most effective and popular exercises with your own body weight. When done correctly, push-ups are a great way to work on all major muscle groups at the same time. The great thing about dead weight workouts is that you don't need expensive equipment and can do the exercises anywhere and anytime. If you are already doing the classic push-up without any problems, then you should incorporate some new push-up variants into your training routine to set new stimuli. Discover the best variations for more variety in our article.
With the right technique and body tension, push-ups are a natural movement that primarily strains the back and abdominal muscles. In order to be able to train progressively, it is advisable to venture into demanding push-up variants from time to time. The easiest way to do this is to change the position of the hands. By changing the grip width, some muscle groups work more than others. If you already have fitness experience, you can also add weights or try more intense push-ups as part of a HIIT training plan.
Push-up variants for a strong upper body
Some of the most popular push-up variants differ from the classic exercise only by changing the grip width. However, push-ups take quality over quantity and they are only effective if they are executed correctly and in the right shape. So if you are a beginner, we recommend that you start with push-ups on your knees or wall push-ups and work your way up slowly.
- Push-ups with a wide handle are a wonderful option to strengthen the chest muscles and the front shoulders. To do this, go to the classic push-up position and place your hands a little wider than shoulder width. Make sure that the upper and lower arm form a 90 degree angle when stretched.
- Tight push-up variations are also known as diamond pushups and the tight grip makes the triceps more stressed during this exercise. Support your hands centrally under the body and lay them together so that they form a triangle. Lower your body until you almost touch your hands with your chest. When doing this, make sure that your elbows always stay close to your body.
Push-up variations for beginners and advanced
- Pushups with staggered hands are another great option that you can include in your upper body workout. The variable that changes is your hands. Take the classic push-ups position and form a straight line with the body. Now place one hand a little further forward, while the other remains directly under the shoulder. Go down until the elbows form a 90 degree angle. In addition to the triceps and pectoral muscles, this exercise also trains the abdominal and deltoid muscles.
- Push-up with rotation mainly affects the shoulders and the oblique abdominal muscles and helps to improve balance. Start with a normal push-up and move to the side high-plank position. Then stretch your arm up in the air so that the body forms a “T” shape.
- Push-ups on the fist are a push-up variant that is only suitable for advanced users. This strengthens the ankles and wrists and promotes balance. Instead of doing the push-up on the palms of your hands, form a firm fist and lean on the first two ankles. Whether classic, with a narrow or wide handle is up to you.
- Push-ups on the back of the hand strengthens the wrists and is ideal for boxers or martial artists. Instead of resting on the palm of your hand, you must place your hands on the back of your hand that is turned inside. To prevent injury and improve hand strength, it is advisable to warm up and stretch your hands well beforehand.
- Slow negative pushups strengthen the abdominal muscles and promote performance. To do this, slowly lower the body downwards and then lift it up as quickly as possible.
- Push-ups with legs up – For these push-up variants you either need a chair or you can put your legs on the sofa or the edge of the bed. When the legs are raised, the intensity is higher and the core muscles are put under greater strain. Simply place your feet on a raised surface and you're ready to go.
The push-up is one of the best exercises to improve coordination and balance
- One-armed pushups strengthens the core muscles and improves coordination. Go into the classic push-up and put your hands a little closer than shoulder width. Then put one arm on your back, tense your stomach and lower your body with the support arm. Exhale and push up again. In the meantime, make sure that the shoulders remain stable and the elbows are close to the body. Another option would be to just stretch your arm forward.
- One Leg Pushups – Due to the increased instability, more muscles have to work at the same time to keep the balance. Go to the classic push-up position. When you lower your body towards the floor, lift one leg approximately 2 centimeters from the floor. Make sure that the body stays in a straight line. Then put your foot down again and return to the starting position. It gets even harder if you put one foot over the other and try to do as many repetitions as possible.
- Push-ups with hands down aim more at the biceps and shoulder muscles. With this variant you have to place your hands around the belly button and turn your fingers towards your feet.
Intensive push-up variants for more endurance
In the following push-up variants, intensive movements such as clapping hands or jumping are incorporated. This will improve your endurance and increase your heart rate. Due to the higher intensity, the exercises are wonderful for effective HIIT training at home.
- Clapping pushups with your hands require a lot of speed and are only suitable for very advanced users. Do a classic push-up and try to clap your hands at least once as you move up. Then land on your palms again. The variant in which you clap behind the body is even more demanding.
- Push-ups with pat on the shoulder are rather a plank variant and improve your stability and core muscles. Start in the classic push-up position and place your hands a little wider than shoulder width. Push yourself up and pat your right arm on the left shoulder and your left – on the right. It is important in this exercise that the back remains straight and the body does not sway to the side.
- Push-up with frog jump is a very effective exercise to train the upper body and buttocks at the same time. Start with a normal push-up, and once you're in the high plank position, jump your feet to the outside of your hands so that you land in a deep squat. Then jump back with your feet and repeat the process.
- Spiderman pushups promotes balance and trains the oblique abdominal muscles. When in the lower push-up position, pull your knee sideways towards your elbow.
- Push-up variants with medicine ball – These exercises look pretty simple, but the medicine ball is unstable and that increases the level of difficulty. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the medicine ball and go into the typical push-up position. Isn't that challenging enough for you? Then just put one hand on the ball while the other stays on the floor. Then slowly lower your body towards the floor, making sure that it stays in a straight line and straight. Return to the starting position, roll the medicine ball under the other hand and repeat.
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