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Build muscle with push-ups

Push-ups are always one of those exercises that come to mind when we mention chest muscle training. Considered one of the best bodyweight exercises, push-ups actually recruit almost every muscle in the body: the pecs, back, triceps, shoulders, and biceps, not to mention the abs, quadriceps, and even the glutes. In this article, we offer you a complete point on This Exercise That Can Literally Transform Your Physique if done well.


How to do push-ups

Many consider push-ups to be one of the best upper body exercises. It is indeed a basic movement that features in all strength and conditioning programs, and probably one of the most commonly performed exercises in the history of physical culture. Push-ups are not only an upper body exercise, but also a basic plank-like movement. In addition to teaching how to properly perform the bench press-like push-up execution, push-ups also incorporate the principles of stable core positioning. Indeed, the fixed position facilitates balance and allows beginners to practice in complete safety, by removing the instability variable on the shoulder joint.

The targeted muscles

Your upper body muscles do most of the work when performing push-ups.

These muscles are:

  • The pectorals
  • Shoulders
  • The muscles of the upper and middle back, including the latissimus dorsi
  • The rhomboids and trapezius
  • biceps
  • The triceps
  • The serratus anterior muscle, which sits on the side of the chest below the biceps
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However, push-ups engage many other muscles to keep the body in a rigid, plank-like position.

These muscles can include:

  • The muscles of the lower back (lumbar)
  • The abdominal or core muscles
  • The gluteal muscles
  • Leg muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps and calves


Increase the difficulty of push-ups

You have mastered traditional push-ups but you want even more? These variations will allow you to continue to progress while recruiting new muscles and new physical abilities such as explosiveness.


medicine ball push-ups

Medicine ball push-ups are great for engaging core stabilizer muscles. Interestingly, studies have also found that the fact of doing push-ups on a ball significantly increased the activity of the triceps and pecs compared to normal pumps.

  • Start by placing your hands shoulder-width apart on a ball provided for this purpose, your feet behind you, so that you are in a slightly elevated plank position.

  • Avoiding slouching or squirming, flex your arms until your chest touches the ball, then push up, keeping your elbows inside.


Tight push-ups

Tight pushups follow the same stroke as standard pushups. However, keeping the arms tight targets the triceps and also requires more core stabilization.

  • Start in a plank position with your hands close together (about 20cm).

  • Keeping your body straight and sheathed, lower yourself until your chest is just touching the floor (keeping your elbows tucked in!).


Diamond pumps

Diamond pushups are also excellent for targeting triceps muscles.

  • In a plank position, with the body in a straight line, place the hands together in a diamond shape under the pecs. Thumbs should touch.

  • Lower yourself slowly, keeping your elbows inside.

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The declined push-ups

To make declined push-ups, place your feet on a prop like a ball or bench to maximize the depth and declination of your push-ups. As you get stronger you can increase the incline.

  • Start in a plank position with your feet resting on a medicine ball, bench, or other support.

  • Lower your chest to the floor, maintaining proper push-up form, then return to your starting position and repeat.


Slammed push-ups

Slammed pushups offer the challenge to add explosive plyometric movement to your exercise. Start in a plank position and do a full pushup, but instead of just pushing back and extending your arms, use all of your upper body strength to deliver an effort explosive enough to clap your hands.


body weight training

What if push-ups could assess your heart health?

How to do one arm push ups?

How to get stronger at pull-ups?


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