Master the art of a Push Up

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A Push Up is one of the most practiced exercises in the world. Pushups engage a number of your body muscles making a great cornerstone exercise for any strength training program.

What is a Push Up?

You probably know what a push up is. For the beginners, a push up is a body-weighted exercise in which you first place your hands firmly on the ground. The hands placed shall be right under your shoulders. The advantage of push-ups over bench press is that the core abdominal, back, glute, and leg muscles are engaged.

How-to

  • Ground your toes to stabilize your lower body. Tighten your abs (ready to take a punch, eh?).
  • Engage your glutes and hamstrings while you stabilize your lower body and get right to it!
  • Flatten your back.
  • Do not let your hips dip at any point during the movement neither should your hips stick up in the air! Keeping them neutral, lower your chest until your chest just about brushes the ground.
  • Fix a point to look at 3 feet in front of you on the floor in order to maintain a neutral neck position.
  • DO NOT FORGET TO BREATH!

 

Muscles Worked

The primary muscles targeted are those of the shoulders, arms (specifically the triceps), and chest. The support for the body is provided from other muscles which results in a broad spectrum of muscles being utilized in this exercise.

  • Abdominals– The muscles of the abdomen or mid section continually contract to provide stability as well as to support the body off the floor while ensuring the the legs and midsection are aligned.
  • Deltoids – This shoulder joint muscle is engaged to move the arms closer to the chest during the push-up’ phase of the exercise. It also controls the speed at which the body is lowered during the down’ phase.
  • Chest – This is the primary muscle group engaged and provides the pushing power during the up phase.
  • Back – The muscles of the back particularly the stabilizing muscle of the spine provides the body with the stability required during a push-up
  • Triceps – The triceps are engaged after the initial push phase to ensure the elbow joints and thereafter the arms are completely extended. They also control the speed of the body during the down phase of the exercise.
  • Biceps – The biceps act as a powerful stabilizer and engages both the shoulder and elbow muscles to prove extra stability.

 

Frequent Problems

  • Mistake – Arched Lower Back (Unengaged glutes)
  • Correction – Engage Glutes and Hamstrings
  • Mistake – Forgetting to Breathe
  • Correction – The trick is to breathe. (Duh!)  Inhale on your way down and opposite.
  • Mistake – Flared Arms
  • Correction – Shoulders are the most injury prone muscle and joint. Do not go hard on them. Instead, tuck in your elbows at about 30-40 degrees to your torso.
  • Mistake – Backward Body-weight (advanced wrists)
  • Correction – In order to fix this mistake, just retract your wrists till right under your shoulders. That should do it.
Variations

 

Doing the same old exercise in a similar way could be quite monotonous. You have to mix it up.

 

The most common push-up is the Full Pushup where the legs and the back remain straight and not touching the floor. In addition to the common push-up, there are notable variations aimed at engaging various muscle groups with various intensities, etc.

 

For example – The Diamond Push-up in which the thumbs and index fingers are together forming a diamond shape and the elbows of both hands are pointed in the direction of the knees.
In other variations, keeping both hands on an unlevel surface while performing this exercise engage the core of the body. Keeping both hands or both feet on a higher surface ensures more pressure on the pectoral muscles etc.

 

1.Beginner Push-ups.

 

Off The Wall

 

This is the first step on perfecting your push-up skills.It’s a standing push-up done against a wall. It’s not as difficult as it looks. Weight to be supported is greatly lessened.

 

Off A Table

 

The secret to developing up to an advanced push-up is to begin from the wall and gradually get more horizontal.

 

2.Intermediate

This is where you advance more on your push-up skills. You will acquire a whole lifetime of skills.

Knuckle – this is exactly what it sounds like, doing pushups on your knuckles

Alligator

3.Explosive push-ups

Explosive staggered

Explosive jacks

4.Expert push-ups

Slider

Wall-braced Single

5.push-ups with equipment

Triple Medicine Ball

Off Four Medicine Balls


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