Push-ups are without a doubt one of the most popular exercises. In gyms, this multi-joint exercise is practiced by beginners as well as by the more advanced. Very easy to perform and requiring no special equipment, push-ups have many benefits for the body and for health. There are different variations of push-ups, to be performed according to the level of training. Find out all about push-ups in this article.
Why do push-ups?
Push-ups build upper body strength, including pectoral muscles, arms, shoulders and upper back, but not only that! Doing push-ups regularly also increases your power and endurance. And that’s not all! Push-ups are also good for your health as they improve your heart and blood circulation. In addition, by doing push-ups every day, you strengthen your bones and improve your posture. In addition, many people do push-ups as it is a very effective exercise for gaining strength. In addition, building muscle with push-ups gives you a great body shape.
Which muscles are targeted during a push-up exercise?
Push-ups mainly involve the pectoral muscles, shoulders, triceps and abdominal muscles. However, the muscles worked can vary depending on the type of push-up performed. For example, if the practitioner wishes to intensify the work on the outside of the pectoral muscles, he will have to spread the arms to the width of the shoulders. On the other hand, if he wants to aim more at the shoulders, he will have to raise his feet. For those who want to accentuate the work on the triceps, to carry out a push-up with the arms very little spread is very effective.
How to perform a classic push-up?
– Lie flat on your stomach.
– Stand on your toes.
– Raise your body by pressing on the palms of your hands.
– Hands are shoulder-width apart.
– Fingers pointing forward.
– Lower your body so that your torso is as close to the ground as possible, bending your elbows.
– Straighten up, still using the strength of your arms.
– Repeat the movement as many times as possible.
Variations of push-ups
There are different variations of push-ups depending on the level of the practitioner and the muscles targeted.
Push-ups facing the wall or on the knees
These forms of push-ups are mainly for beginners and those who have difficulty performing standard push-ups. Instead of standing on your tiptoes in a prone position, you can perform the exercise standing against a wall and perform the movement in this position. You can also put your knees on the floor (flat on your stomach) instead of standing on your toes.
Wide push-ups or spread arms
Wide push-ups allow you to intensify the work on your shoulders and chest and are easy to perform for beginners. They are similar to classic push-ups, with the only difference being that the arms are spread much wider than the shoulders (20 to 25 cm from the shoulders). You can raise your feet and hands to vary the feel.
Narrow push-ups or hands together
The opposite of wide push-ups, narrow push-ups or joined hands consist of bringing the two hands together at a width less than that of the shoulders. This allows you to concentrate your efforts on the triceps and pectoral muscles. As you descend, stop at the point where your chest is 6 inches off the ground, then rise again. It is important that you contract your triceps to ensure the effectiveness of the exercise on this part of the body.
As the name suggests, this form of push-up consists of performing the exercise on one arm only. It puts a lot of strain on the arm in question as well as the muscles around the rotator cuff. Since they require a certain amount of balance and strength, one-armed push-ups are reserved for those who are used to working out. In this exercise, place your free hand behind your back. In the down position, your torso should be about 15 cm away before returning to the starting position.
Plyometric or Jumping Pumps
The plyometric push-up is strictly reserved for high-level athletes, as it requires a lot of physical strength. This variation is primarily aimed at the chest, it increases power significantly. Keep the same initial position as with a classic push-up and perform the same movement until the descent, but when you come back up, use your strength to throw your upper body so that your hands take off the ground.