Push-ups don’t have to be a punishment. Here’s how to make ‘em easier.
Drop and give us 10! You may think of push-ups as punishment (in fact, they’re often used for that in the military and martial arts disciplines), but push-ups are actually an incredibly effective and efficient form of exercise.
“Push-ups engage three major muscles of the upper body,” says Joan Pagano, an exercise physiologist in New York City. “The push-up targets the chest, the front of the shoulders, and the back of the arm [the tricep], and it engages your core muscles.”
As timeless as the push-up is, let’s face it, performing one is not as easy as it looks. That’s because you’re basically lifting the weight of your whole body with your shoulder, chest, and arm muscles. If those muscle groups are not as strong as you’d like, doing a few push-ups may seem like an impossible feat.
Enter: The push-up modifications.
“If you don’t like traditional push-ups there are a [few] modifications you can do that will make them more manageable for you,” says Pagano. Here are three push-up variations that are effective for every body: the wall push-up, the kitchen counter (diagonal) push-up, and the half push-up.
The Wall Push-Up
Stand with your arms stretched out in front of you at shoulder level. Your body should be at about a 45-degree angle from the wall and your arms should be 3-4 inches wider than shoulder width apart.
Bend your elbows to 90 degrees as you lower your chin to the wall and then exhale and push back.
Repeat 10-15 times.
The Kitchen Counter Push-Up
“It’s a diagonal push up where you’re using the counter to brace your hands,” says Pagano. “It’s very important that you use something that’s totally stable. Don’t try this against a table.”
Place your hands on your kitchen counter. Your arms are straight, about 3-4 inches wider than shoulder-width apart. Your body is at about a 45-degree angle.
Bend your elbows lowering your chest toward the kitchen counter. Use your core muscles to keep your spine straight. Your head, neck, and shoulders should be aligned with your spine.
Repeat 10-15 times.
The Half Push-Up
Get on the floor in tabletop position, with your hands and knees on the floor. Cross your ankles.
Walk your hands forward until they are slightly forward of your shoulders, and 3-4 inches wider than shoulder-width apart.
Drop your hips so that there’s a nice straight line from your head and neck, which are in alignment with your spine all the way to your knees.
Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and lower your chest to the floor.
Exhale and push to the up position.
Repeat 10-15 times.
Now that you’ve mastered the many ways of doing a push-up, try these three squat modifications.
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Push-ups are a classic timeless exercise,
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They engage three major
muscles of the upper body.
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The push up targets the chest, the front
of the shoulders, and the back of the arm,
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the triceps, and
engages your core muscles.
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If you don't like traditional push ups
there are a couple of modifications that
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you can do that will make
them more manageable for you.
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The first variation of the push up is the
wall push up, which you do standing with
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your arms stretched out in
front of you at shoulder level.
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Your body is at about a 45
degree angle from the wall.
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Your arms should be three to four
inches wider than shoulder width apart.
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You bend your elbows to 90 degrees
as you lower your chin to the wall.
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And then exhale and push back.
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Another variation for
push-ups is on a kitchen counter,
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a diagonal push-up, where you using
the counter to brace your hands.
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Your arms are straight, about three to
four inches wider than chest width apart,
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your body is at about a 45 degree angle.
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Use your core muscles to keep
your spine straight, your head,
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neck and shoulder should be aligned
with your spine, and bench your elbows,
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lowering your chest towards
the kitchen counter.
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It's very important that you use
something that's totally stable,
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don't try this against a table.
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Another variation of the push
up is the half push up,
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walk your hands forward until they
are slightly forward of your shoulders and
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3 to 4 inches wider than
shoulder width apart.
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Drop your hips, so there's a nice
straight line from your head and neck,
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which are in alignment with your
spine all the way to your knees.
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Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, and
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lower your chest to the floor,
try to touch the floor if you can.
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Exhale, and push to the up position.
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Repeat 10 to 15 times.
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