Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/12/2014 -- Push-ups are regarded as one of the best body-weight training exercises out there. These challenging moves build upper body strength in the arms, chest, and shoulders and require strength in the abdominals, back and legs to perform properly. They can also offer a boost in self-esteem as accomplishing them takes whole-body fitness and it’s an empowering move.
In addition to being powerful, the push-up is also versatile and there are a variety of ways to change it to make it easier for beginners, or more challenging for advanced athletes.
For beginners opting to push-ups on the knees is a good method, and one way to begin moving into push-ups on the toes is to add an incline such as a bench or pushup against a wall, or try frog push-ups. With the toes behind the knees and knees slightly outward, rise up with arms extended then lower down only the chest, keeping hips high in the air and weight on the balls of the feet. This is a challenging position for the entire upper core, and can help build levels of strength that will surprise even the fittest athletes out there.
We’ve all seen push-ups done with one arm, but adding a hip abduction by raising one leg is another way to challenge whole body strength in this move. Starting in a plank position, lift one leg slightly off the floor and out to the side. Perform a traditional push-up but keep the leg extended to challenge balance and coordination. Be sure to contract the glutes in order to keep the leg lifted.
In addition to these modifications, be sure to execute proper positioning each time a push-up is performed. Core should be tight, arms should be slightly wider and in line with the shoulders, and chest should never drop past the line of the elbows. Try these challenging additions to the next set of push-ups in any style work-out or on their own for extra strength training.
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