When it comes to health, fitness, and exercise, people seem to think that the majority of exercises designed to build and tone the various muscles in our bodies have to involve heavy free weights or machines.
The truth however, is that whilst free weight exercise and machines are perfectly good at building and toning the muscles, bodyweight exercises can be just as important and beneficial, possibly even more so in some instances.
Take the push-up for instance, this simple exercise can be performed anywhere, is easy to do, and is great for working your chest, and your triceps as well.
There are however, many different ways to perform this simple but effective exercise, and here are just four examples.
Basic push up
Starting off with the most obvious is the basic push up, the type you see performed most frequently in gyms and on various fitness shows etc.
To do a standard push up:
- Start off by getting into a plank position, with your toes behind you touching the floor, your heels pointing at the ceiling, and your palms under but slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lower your body until your chest slightly grazes the floor. Tuck in your elbows and pull them close to your body so they form a 45 degree angle.
- Pause for a second, and then push yourself back up into the starting position.
- Repeat until failure.
Spiderman push ups
This cool variation of a push up is ideal for working your chest and your core at the same time.
How To Do Spiderman Push Ups
- To begin, start off in the plank position as you would with a standard push up.
- Next, place your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lower yourself down towards the ground.
- At the very bottom of the movement, slowly move your right knee forwards towards your right elbow.
- Return the leg to the starting position, and push yourself back up to the starting position.
- Repeat again, but this time using your left leg and elbow.
- Alternate between the two for each repetition you complete.
Clapping Push Ups
These are just like your bog standard push ups, except when you push yourself up off the ground, the aim is to clap your hands together before you fall and hit the floor.
How To Do Clapping push ups
- Start off face down on the floor, with your palms face down.
- With your toes touching the floor, heel facing the ceiling, slowly push your body upwards, extending your arms and keeping your body straight.
- Lower your body down towards the ground and push your body up as quickly as possible.
- As your hands leave contact with the floor, clap them together as quickly as you can, before placing back in their original position.
- Make sure you’re quick as the aim is to catch your body before it falls face first into the ground.
Close grip push ups
Push ups are designed to mainly work your chest, with a little bit of triceps and even a little bit of core in some cases.
To really target your triceps however, then the close grip push up is absolutely ideal, as it makes this exercise all about the triceps, with a little bit of chest work too, rather than the other way around.
- Face down, lay on the floor, and bring your hands closer than shoulder width apart to form a close hand position.
- You should be holding your entire torso up at arm’s length.
- Slowly lower yourself downwards until your chest grazes the floor.
- Push your entire upper body back upwards to the original starting position. You should feel a squeeze in your triceps and pectoral muscles.
- Repeat the entire process for however many repetitions you’re aiming for.