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Doing the same old chest workout daily can make your routine pretty boring and your body tired. So what alternatives are available? Well, pushups are a well-known exercise for upper body strength and fitness, and they have been around for quite a long time.
Even though an old-school method but done with some variations, it can effectively target your chest, shoulders, upper arms and upper back, turning you into a fit personality within days.
In this article we’ve listed out SEVEN different pushup variations that target the upper body in different ways, making this the ultimate pushups workout for you. Don’t consider it a barebones muscle-building exercise anymore.
1. Standard Pushup
Start off with some standard pushups. Bring your body in a pushup position, laying your palms flat on the floor and the arms extended at shoulder’s width. Your legs must be fully extended and your weight balanced on the balls of the feet. This is the best starting position for a standard pushup.
Now comes the execution. While keeping your body rigid, descend gradually till the chest touches the floor. Keep your focus on a stationary object in front of you.
As soon as the chest touches the floor, push yourself back again to the starting position. Do as many reps as you can. Make sure you never bounce your chest off the floor to push yourself back.
This exercise targets the pectoral muscles, triceps, core musculature and the deltoids.
Perform two sets of 20 reps each.
2. Wide-Grip Pushup
It’s time to target the chest only for its growth. The standard pushup warms up your body for targeting only one core muscle area. To bring yourself in starting position, lay flat on the floor just as you do in a standard pushup but this time your hands wider than the shoulder width.
Now descend gradually till the chest touches the floor or as far as possible where you feel comfortable. Push yourself back again using the chest.
Basically, with a wide-grip you are actually putting very less stress on the shoulders and triceps, and more on your chest.
Aim for at least 25-30 reps or at least 20.
3. Narrow Grip Pushup
The narrow grip pushup workout puts more weight on the pectoral muscles but mainly targets your triceps.
Bring your body in a normal pushup position but your hands just a couple of inches apart from each other. In simple, your hands will underneath your chest. This will be your starting position.
Descend your body until the chest reaches the fingers of your hands. Don’t let it touch it. Hold this position for a second and push yourself back to the starting position.
Make sure your arms don’t rumble or extend towards one side while pushing up. That is a huge mistake that can result in an injury.
Perform two sets of 15 reps each.
Ever heard of them? To your surprise, they target the entire body, very effective and of course, pretty tough to perform.
Bring your body in a standard pushup position. Now take one hand off the ground and extend it up in the air, this making a T-shape. Keep your focus on the raised hand and descend the body gradually. You may not be able to do even a single pushup in the beginning. Keep on practicing it until your body gains enough strength.
It not only targets the entire upper body but also strengthens the shoulder, opens the thoracic spine and delivers rotational power via the core. Take this workout to the next level by grabbing a dumbbell in the raised hand.
5. Incline Pushups
You need a chair or a flat bench for this workout. It is also hard, so the number of reps will be low as compared to the prior exercises. It also requires a lot of rest between the sets.
Place your hands on the bench just as in a standard pushup position and your feet balls positioned on the floor, so as to form an incline shape. This will be your starting position.
Keeping your body rigid, descend slowly till your chest reaches as close to the ground. Now explode all the way back up. Perform two sets of 8-12 reps each with a minute rest in between the sets.
6. Single-Leg Pushups
This workout targets the upper body and your core plus it also intensified the exercise too much. You’ll be sweating too much and your muscles will be screaming throughout this exercise.
Bring yourself in a standard pushup position but with one leg up off the ground. This will be the starting position.
Perform a pushup and keep the leg raised throughout. Now switch quickly and do another pushup.
Aim for 12-14 reps.
7. Atomic Pushups
Finish the workout with some Atomic Pushups. They target the chest and core.
Note: You will need a suspension trainer for this exercise.
Place your hands firmly on the floor and your feet in a suspension trainer. Now perform a pushup. After each pushup, bring your knees to the chest. In this way, you’ll be targeting your chest and core. It’s a perfect workout to combine with your cardio days.
These are hard, so at first strive for 15 reps.