Push-Ups. They’re a boot camp staple. They can take you from feeling strong to crying for your mommy in under a minute.
But there’s no need to fear the push-up. With a simple modification or a little variation, you’re sure to find one to fit your goals and your current ability.
Push-Ups mainly target your chest muscles, but they also help shape your shoulders, triceps and your core. Plus, they’re effective and convenient since they don’t require equipment. After she rocked a round of burpees for us, we went back to Sara Silk, a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with the OhioHealth McConnell Heart Health Center, to get some ideas on how to tailor our push-up game to our goals.
1. Wall Push-Up
First up, the wall push-up!
A simple modification for the standard push-up is modifying against a wall. Place your hands shoulder-width apart, keep your feet close together, and feel those chest muscles get to work without stress or strain on your wrists.
2. Modified Push-Up
By dropping to your knees when you’re in the plank position, you make the move a little easier. This helps you feel empowered (yay! I can do a push-up!) and gets you on the road to building your strength and stamina so you can take on a standard push-up.
3. Incline Push-Up
An incline push-up changes up your form, making your lower chest and triceps work a little harder. If you don’t have an exercise step like Sara, you can always use your stairs at home!
4. Twist Push-Up
A twist push-up takes the standard exercise and throws a little side plank action in there. Feel free to do these on your knees or toes and you’ll be building strength through your core and working on your balance, too.
5. Renegade Row Push-Up
A renegade row push-up brings your back into the game. You can do these on your knees or toes and don’t forget to keep your eyes focused about six inches in front of you. The weight you choose is up to you, but stick with something challenging if you want to see results.
No matter what variation you choose, push-ups are a classic functional fitness move that will get you in shape and build your fitness confidence.
Want to learn more ways to change up your workout routine? Head over to our classes page and take your pick!