Push-ups are one of the basic exercises designed to increase muscle mass. This training movement works the arms, back, chest, and part of the abs at the same time, and is an excellent alternative to the bench press in the prone position. Regular push-ups will help the athlete strengthen and build muscles, as well as achieve a clearer relief. Using long periods of push-ups until you lose strength in training will help develop endurance and performance. For a more detailed study of all the main muscle groups that are included in the work during this movement, it is necessary to use various techniques for performing the exercise.
Push-ups most often differ in the width of the arms — this allows you to shift the physical load on the muscle that needs enhanced study.
- Wide stance of the palms.
In this variant, the arms are spread to the maximum width, but taking into account the bend of the elbow joint, the angle of which should not exceed 90 °. The main part of the tension falls on the pectoral muscles, allowing them to accelerate their growth. To complicate this position, a slight elevation under the feet is used; at home, a small bench or high chair is suitable for this. Beginning athletes are advised to put an elevation under their arms — this will facilitate the execution of the element and allow you to hone your technique before using the classic version.
- Medium hand position.
This option is ideal for working out and increasing the triceps muscles of the hands (triceps). To complicate the exercise, you can use the push-up technique on your fists or fingers. To adjust the complexity of the element, you can experiment with setting stops.
- Narrow hand placement.
This variation is considered the most difficult, as the palms are placed directly under the chest. The exercise works out the pectoral muscles, deltoid muscles of the shoulders, triceps and promotes the growth of muscle mass. Not recommended for women’s fitness training, as it contributes to the visual expansion of the shoulders, which negatively affects the proportions of the female figure.
In addition to changing the width of the placement of the palms, you can use load methods such as:
- Push-ups on one hand.
This option is suitable for men with a strong muscular frame and developed triceps. It is not recommended for girls because of a possible change in the shape of the breast: the muscles will protrude under the mammary glands and spoil the overall impression of the figure.
- Push-ups with claps.
Mostly designed to develop endurance and coordination of movements.
- Fingertip push-ups.
To perform them, men must have strong wrist muscles and strong fingers. You can strengthen them with dumbbell rotations or exercises with a carpal expander.
- Reverse push-ups.
A great option for girls who want to tighten the lower line of the arms, strengthen the triceps. To perform them, you need to sit on a chair, rest your palms on the seat and move your pelvis forward, leaving your body in the air and stretching your legs in front of you. Next, bend the arms at the elbows, lowering the body down, and then return to the starting position.
Advanced athletes can increase the load on the pectoral muscles by mastering the handstand and push-ups from this position, which requires, in addition to strength and agility, a good sense of balance.
Schedule a fitness workout
Like any other exercise, push-ups require a thoughtful approach, since the physical load should increase gradually, as the muscles adapt to the unusual tension. To track the result and the correct dosing of physical activity, a push-up schedule is drawn up, which is a table that takes into account the following information:
- the number of exercises performed;
- the number of sets performed for each element;
- time spent on training;
- rest time between completed elements;
- Expected Result.
A methodical approach to keeping a sports diary will help you accurately track the productivity of training and increase physical activity in a timely manner. In addition, it makes it easier to find the causes of the “plateau” effect that most athletes experience from time to time.
Push-up techniques for proper physical activity
When compiling a push-up program, it is necessary to take into account the physical data of a person and the level of his sports training. When choosing a methodology, they start from the degree of complexity of a fitness lesson, which can be designed for beginner athletes; people with good physical fitness; advanced and professional athletes.
- For people aiming to improve physical strength and lose weight, the fitness program starts with a small number of sets and repetitions, which continuously increases from session to session.
- Workouts for girls can be facilitated by push-ups from the knees and holding hands with a wide grip. Such elements are easily mastered on their own at home and can gradually be replaced with a classic version.
- For athletes of an average level of physical training, sets of exercises are used, where the minimum number of sets with the maximum number of repetitions is used. Approaches are gradually reduced, and by the end of the cycle there is a minimum number of them.
- Fitness programs include complex elements such as close stances, fist/finger push-ups, and hand clapping.
The ideal option for compiling a program is to contact a professional trainer who will draw up a fitness plan based on the athlete’s personal data. If this is not possible, then you can use the standard schemes that are available in large numbers on the Internet. The first few sessions will help you adapt the program for yourself, choose the optimal number of approaches and repetitions, and also calculate their increase so that physical activity is not critical for the body.