Pushups are the go to body weight exercise and for good reason. This exercise can increase strength as well as definition in the biceps, triceps, and shoulder regions. But what if I told you that you can actually improve this exercise further to include your abs, chest, or even your lats without killing them in the process? Here’s some tips to do all that and more to really improve your pushup game.
1. Tighten the stomach
While pushups are primarily for upper body improvement, tightening the stomach during a set of reps can actually help improve core strength. What tightening the stomach does to improve your pushups goes beyond just adding a planking type of addition but also helps from rounding your spine which reduces injury of trying to force your back to stay in place. Pretty great right?
2. Spread those fingers
A lot of people will do pushups close handed or where their fingers are all together pointing in the same direction. If you’ve ever seen those guys who do jumping pushups or anything similar, a good majority are using an open, spread hand. This adds more tension to the workout while making it a bit easier to transfer into diamond style after a while. It’s also great because it works your lats and adds yet another muscle group to the already great workout.
3. Push in and away
To improve your pushup further, try pushing inwards. If you’re utilizing the wide grip from tip four, then focus on pushing those thumbs towards each other each time you go down. This will engage the chest even further than it already has by giving the feeling of a chest press each time you perform a rep. In addition, most people consider pushups as lifting yourself off of the ground but if you try to instead, push the ground away from you, you’ll notice a change in the exercise that affects the whole body!
With these three steps in mind, you can begin to try different more difficult variations like diamond style, burpees, or even increase the amount of time per each rep for maximum muscle penetration. Pushups are wonderful and as long as you do them right, can sometimes replace a gym visit if you don’t have an hour to spend for the day.
Until next time, think healthy, be healthy!