The Push-Up is the most used Bodyweight Exercise (=BWE) in the world.
Targets: Chest, arms, shoulders, and core
The Push-Up has many variations for every fitness level. Beginner should start with easier versions, while advanced athletes may use challenging variations.
How to Do a Push-Up
Place your hands on the floor, positioning your hands under your shoulders. Your body forms a plank. Now lower yourself to the floor by bending your elbows, keep them close to your rip cage. Your legs should be kept straight. When your chest touches the floor, press yourself up with your arms. Don’t bend your knees or collaps in your hip and lower back. Your core and your butt cheeks should be tight all the time.
Variations of the Push-Up
Whether you are a beginner and need to make this exercise easier, or you’re advanced and want more of a challenge – or want to better target a specific muscle, – there is a push-up variation for you.
This modified version of the standard pus-up is performed on the knees, rather than the toes. Although you are performing it on your knees, you should keep your knees, hips and shoulder all in a straight line. Don’t bend at your hips!
The incline push-up is a great way to start your progression towards a full push-up. Make sure to use the same technique as described in the standard push-up. Start by standing a few feet away from the wall and performing a push-up against the wall. When this gets too easy, move on and place your hands on a table or a bench. The lower you place your hands, the heavier it gets.
This will add a lot of core stability for an increased difficulty. I recommend you can do at least 10 basic push-ups before trying the stability-ball push-ups, although this is an incline push-up, this will work your core and arms a lot different. When starting with this variation, start with only a few and see how you feel the next day.
The decline push-up is performed with your feet raised up on a box or bench. You can adjust the box height to increase or decrease the resistance.
For an even more challenging decline push-up, place your feet on a stability ball.
The clapping push-up is a plyometric exercise in which you push yourself up with enough power to clap your hands in midair. This one is not for beginners. You can get injured very easily if you haven’t worked up to being capable of performing the clapping push-up.
The diamond push-up will work your triceps brachii more than the standard push-up. It is performed with your hands close together and your index fingers and thumbs touching each other, making a diamond shape on the floor. When performing the push-up, your chest will touch your hands on each repetition.
Push-Up With Renegade Row
This variation was used by Mark Twight during the preparation of the actors for the movie „300„. It is a great finisher exercise to work your whole upper body and core after a heavy workout. The push-up works the front of your upper body, and the row works your upper back.
Place a pair of dumbbells where your hands would be placed on the floor. Now perform a push-up, with your hands on the handles of the dumbbells. Then row the dumbbell on one side to the side of your chest, place it back on the floor and repeat it with the other hand.
Medicine Ball Push-Up
Perform a standard push-up with one hand on top of a medicine ball. This will work your shoulder in a different range of motion, which increases shoulder stability. You can alternate by rolling the medicine ball over to the other hand between each repetition (=rep), which will improve your balance.