I would say that Pushups are the greatest Exercise that you can do at home without any equipment, period. Pushups not only work your chest muscles, but also your whole body is engaged during this exercise, so there is a lot to gain from doing pushups. They are also very „thankful“ exercise, meaning that you can do minor modification in hands position, legs position, change angles and you will get completely different exercise.
There are so many types and variations of pushups you can do, and I will try to cover most of them in this article and the next article that will come (Part I and Part II).
Regular Pushup is a good starting position for every beginner. It is a really good exercise for your entire body, but primarily focuses on your chest muscles. Before start, your hands should be under your shoulders, shoulder width apart, and while lowering yourself down, your elbows should naturally be separated from your hips for approximately 45 to 55 degrees. Also if you are a total beginner and even these pushups are hard for you, try doing these pushups on your knees, which is much easier variation.
Military / Narrow Pushups
Military pushup is a harder variation of a regular pushup, and instead of your chest it primarily works your triceps muscles. Hands distance for this exercise can be the same as for regular pushup or slightly narrower. The main difference is that while doing this exercise your elbows must go to the back and not to the side, therefore being as close as possible to your hips. Thing to remember is that Military Pushup primarily works your triceps, but like with Regular Pushup it is a complete body exercise.
Wide Pushup should be easier version of a Regular pushup, and it primarily focuses on your chest muscles, especially the outer part. Your hands should be wider than your shoulders width, but not too wide to struggle. All else remains the same as for regular pushup, only you should feel more stretch in your chest than you do with regular pushup.
Elevated pushup basically means that your feet are lifted from the ground, and positioned on the chair or something similar. Elevated pushup works your chest under different angle, therefore making more impact on your upper chest muscles. Basically the whole point is to constantly change angles, which will stimulate your muscle to grow. You can also experiment with the height of the chair that you are using to lift your legs of the ground to make this exercise even more effective for you.
Dive Bomber pushups
This pushup primarily works your shoulders, but as other pushup variations it also works your entire body. Its starting position is a little bit different then the regular pushup. Your hands are in front of your head, slightly wider than your shoulders, your legs should be separated also and your butt should be lifted high in the air. You will then start doing semi-circular movement diving with your head and rising up into upward dog yoga position. After this you will repeat this move, only backwards.
One Arm Pushups
For me extremely difficult exercise to do, and can’t be done by anyone. You have to be pretty fit to be able to do this exercise. So, you will start this exercise with one arm on the flour slightly moved toward the inside in order to maintain balance more easily. Your second arm should be resting on your back. Also for better balance do this exercise with your legs separated. At the beginning you can do this exercise on your knees, until you get better at it.
Spider / Crocodile Pushups
This is harder variation of regular pushup where you move your right knee toward your right elbow and your left knee toward your left elbow. This way not only you will make more pressure on your chest, but will also use your oblique muscles more intensively. At the beginning, this move may be a little difficult because you have to coordinate your movement and your legs. You can also do this exercise by moving forward where your for example left arm goes forward followed by a left leg, and then moving your right arm followed by a right leg. Basically you move like a crocodile and that is why some people call this exercise the crocodile pushup.
Very difficult variation of a pushup which activates your explosive muscle fibers in your chest, therefore making you faster and more explosive. The starting position for this exercise is the same as for the regular pushup. The big difference is that you will have to push yourself harder from the ground so you can lift yourself from the flour, clap with your hands, and drop down on the flour. When you land on the flour you do not rest on the top, but immediately continue to lower yourself down. Harder variation would be to lift your entire body from the flour and clapping your hands.
You should try to experiment by yourself and change arms position, legs position, change angles, use weight or backpack if you have, to gain maximum benefit from this wonderful exercise. Stay tuned for more different pushup types in the Part II that will come out soon.
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