Mon | May 21, 2018

Fit 4 Life | Push-up yourself further

Published:Wednesday | April 18, 2018 | 12:07 AMMarvin Gordon
Push-ups provide a truly versatile exercise which can be tailored to help boost fitness in so many ways.

 

Push-ups are a staple of bodyweight training. Push-ups provide a truly versatile exercise which can be tailored to help boost fitness in so many ways.

From muscle-building to boosting limit strength - increasing your one-rep-max - in a variety of upper-body movements, to improving vascularity and/or endurance, to building shoulder stability, push-ups can be your best friend.

Push-ups exist at that sweet spot between versatility and difficulty. You can tweak push-ups for development of different muscles and skills, but you can also modify them to increase - or reduce - difficulty. For example, a beginner who is unable to do a full push-up can start with bent knees or with incline push-ups. One could even resort to band assisted push-ups.

Once you have developed enough strength, you can move to more difficult set-ups safely.

So how do you do a push-up?

For the basic push-up, get into a prone plank position, that is, with your body straight, support your weight on your hands and toes. Lower yourself by bending the elbows until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. Breathe out as you push your upper body back up into the starting position.

Repeat for the desired count.

What you can achieve

With push-up variations you can:

- Improve limit strength

- Improve shoulder stability

- Improve explosiveness

- Build muscle: chest, shoulders, core, arms

- Improve cardiovascular development

COMMON PUSH-UP VARIATIONS

* Pike push-ups

Function: Target shoulder muscles focusing on deltoids

Difficulty: high

* Diamond push-ups

Function: Transfer work triceps muscles and away from the chest

Difficulty: high

* Wide (grip) push-ups

Function: Transfer work to chest muscles and away from arms

Difficulty: medium

* Plyo push-ups

Function: Builds explosiveness and improves cardiovascular fitness.

Difficulty: extreme

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com