Out of all the classic exercises that have stood up through time, the push-up has been known for its ability to develop the strength in the upper body and improve overall fitness within the individual.
In this article we are going to be delving deep into mastering the art of the push-up, focusing on proper form, variations that will challenge your strength level and how to elevate your strength training routines.
Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or someone looking to get started on their fitness journey, this comprehensive guide will help YOU maximize the potential of your push-up.
Table of Contents:
- Understanding Proper Push-Up Technique
- Dynamic Push-Up Variations
- Push-Up Progressions and Goals
- Progressing Beyond Push-Ups
Understanding Proper Push-Up Technique: A Foundation for Success
To fully utilize the benefits of the classic push-up, it is essential to understand the fundamentals for what builds proper technique.
Proper form doesn’t only maximize how your muscles work, but it also helps reduce the risk of injury, which will keep you in the game a lot longer. The keys to a perfect push-up include how your body is set up, where your hands are placed and what kind of momentum you have going into the movement.
By maintaining a straight line from head to toe, FLEXING your core, and lowering your body to a comfortable depth while under tension, you can target all of your muscles and build a bit of that bulk.
The traditional push-up position is easy to get in to in the first place. You need to start in the face-down position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders fingers forward. Keeping your body in a straight line, lower your body by bending your elbows while keeping them close to your body. As soon as your chest nears the ground, straighten your arms while maintaining control in a rigid position. Keep your core braced to maximize your strength.
Exploring Dynamic Push-Up Variations: Igniting Muscle Growth
If you find yourself looking for a challenge after mastering the traditional push-up, these variations can be added into your routine for excitement, focusing on different muscle groups, and put the afterburners on your strength progress.
The diamond push-up is a great choice if you are looking at taking yourself from Level 1 to Level 2. While you are in the starter position for the push-up, you are going to bring your hands closer together, forming a diamond shape with your thumbs and pointer fingers. This shape is going to be in the middle of your chest, right around your sternum/nipple line.
This specific variation helps put a great emphasis on the tricep muscles, building big guns and getting an enhanced upper body.
Wide Grip Push-Up:
If you are looking to build a bit more pec muscles with your push-ups, then the wide grip push-up is your go to variation.
To perform this one, you will be in the traditional position, but your hands will be moved out wider than shoulder width apart. The depth of this particular variation would depend on how your own body and skeletal structure so play around with it and see what works best for YOU.
The decline push-up is a deceptively simple technique for adding in challenges to your traditional push-up.
While your hands stay in the same position for this particular push-up variation, it’s your feet that will take a trip to a different area. By elevating your feet on a surface such as a step, bench or bed, you are able to shift focus to your upper chest and shoulders, which will help blow up your upper UPPER body, basically making you an Upper Moon from Demon Slayer.
The true champions of this movement have even turned it into an almost shoulder movement by piking up!
Elevating your feet on an elevated surface, such as a step or bench, shifts the focus to the upper chest and shoulders, challenging your muscles from a different angle.
Other than the one armed push-up (which we will NOT be covering in this article) this is potentially the best show of explosive push-up power on your roster.
This plyometric push-up involves you literally pushing off of the ground with more than enough force for your palms to leave the ground. The only difference between this and the traditional push-up in form is you better be ready to catch yourself when your hands come back down to the ground.
For an added bonus, to look REALLY cool while doing this, applaud yourself while your hands are in the air.
Unlock Your Full Potential: Push-Up Progressions and Goals
If you are wanting to continuously challenge yourself and improve your fitness levels, it is important to set goals through different push-up progressions. Whether you are looking at increasing how many total push-ups you can do (sometimes called total reps), mastering different push-up variations, or transitioning to more difficult forms of the traditional push-up, having a clear plan that tracks your progress will keep you motivated and ensure growth.
Remember that Saitama built his body through hard work and dedication, and constant progression.
To see what kind of standards are out there for push-ups, here is a handy little chart to let you know where you stand in regards to push-ups:
Strength Training Beyond the Push-Up: Expanding Your Fitness Journey
If you are looking to build the best body possible, the push-up isn’t the only TM you will need. Incorporating a diverse range of body weight strength training exercises into your routine will help you yield even great results than you can imagine.
Consider adding in different things like pull-ups, dips, squats and other movements to get that well rounded physique.
If you are looking for a bit of a deeper dive into some options, check out our previous article HERE for your choices.
Push Your Limits and Embrace Challenge: Elevate Your Fitness Journey with Push-Ups
Becoming the master of the push-up isn’t only about developing your physical strength, but about developing mental discipline and fortitude as well. While you are focusing on proper technique, exploring different variations and setting different goals, you will unlock the full potential of the push-up.
Remember consistency and dedication are the KEY to making progress anywhere in fitness, so apply them here as well.
So grab your First Step Apparel gear, tie up your training shoes and embark on a journey through the land hidden in push-ups that will transform your upper body strength and elevate your fitness to new levels.