Build Upper Body Strength With Pushups

By Doaa Samir

People are beginning to realize the beneficial effects of exercise and more people are making this part of their lifestyle. If you want to hear the truth, exercise can change how you live. Different exercises are targeted at different parts of the body. This means your desired result will determine the kind of exercises you will engage in.

 

If your aim is to increase your upper body strength then pushups are the perfect exercise to help you reach your goal. The pushup is an upper body exercise you can do anywhere and you don’t require any special gym equipment perform the move. It is a compound movement in the sense that it involves a lot of different muscles groups to perform. Pushups work on your pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles (chest). Pushups also works on muscles of the upper arm and shoulder thus improving your shoulder stability.

How To Do Pushups

There are different ways and methods to do pushups. We will examine each of them so you can pick which method best works for you or help with your specific workout and fitness goals.

  • Regular Pushup: Place your palms flat on the floor in a high plank. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and your shoulders should be stacked directly above your wrists. Extend your legs behind you and engage your core and glutes. Bend your elbow and lower your chest to the floor. Push through your palms to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.

  • Incline or Elevated Pushup: Place your palms on a chair shoulder-width apart and assume a high plank position. Your knees, feet, shoulders and hips should all be in a straight line. Your elbows should be tucked in at your side close to your body as you brace and engage your core. Bend your elbows to lower your chest. Ensure to pull your shoulder blades together as you lower yourself. Then push through your palms to straighten your arms as you return to the starting position.

  • Dead-Stop Pushup: Assume a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor and your hands a tad wider than shoulder-width apart. Your shoulders should be directly above your wrists with your legs extended behind you. Lower your chest to the floor by bending your elbows. When your chest touches the floor, raise your hands off of the floor so your chest can rest on the floor. Then straighten your arms by pushing through your palms.

  • Decline Pushup: Elevate your lower body by placing your toes on a bench or fitness ball. Get into a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor and your hands shoulder-width apart. Stack your shoulders directly above your wrist and engage your core and glutes. Lower your chest to the floor by bending your elbows. To return, push through your palms to straighten your arms.

The more you do pushups the easier it becomes, and the more reps and sets you are able to do daily. Building your upper body strength with pushups requires patience and consistency. However, if you perform the exercise routinely and correctly you will see the benefits of your hard work in a short matter of time.

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