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We’re Talking About Push-ups … Again!

If you are regularly doing push-ups you’ll be happy to know that there are many variations that work your body in different ways. Before we get to that let’s do a quick review.

Push-ups are amazing. They are almost the one-stop shopping for total body strength. The prime areas that get worked are the muscles of the chest, arms and core. I like to think of push-ups as moving planks.

Another great thing about push-ups is that anyone can do some form of them. They are all effective. It doesn’t matter if you do push-ups at the wall, at a desk/counter top, or on the floor (on knees or toes). Exercise is exercise. It’s important to do something. The body loves movement. There’s no changing that fact. Of course, it’s important to be careful not to overdo an exercise, just as it is necessary to change things up from time-to-time. Our bodies adapt to what we are doing. When that task is complete it goes no further. By increasing the challenge or changing the movement the body becomes stronger in different ways. If you’re interested in avoiding falls (I sure hope that you are) it’s best to be strong in as many ways that you possibly can.

Here are some ways to change up the push-up.

  • Staggered Hands: In the push-up position move one hand an inch or two forward, and one hand back. Do half the repetitions like this, and then switch the positions of your hands.
  • One Hand Raised: In the push-up position put a Yoga block or book under one hand. Do half the repetitions like this, and then switch the positions of your hands. This variation is meant to be done on the floor in the knees or toes position.
  • Spiderman: As you lower yourself from the starting push-up position lift one leg, bending and turning out the knee bring toward the elbow on the same side of your body. As you raise yourself return your leg to the starting position. Alternating between left and right sides.
  • Feet Stacked: In the push-up position stack one foot on top of the other (this variation can only be done on the floor and your toes). Do half the repetitions like this, and then switch the positions of your feet.

These suggestions change things up. I’ve left out the clap or one arm push-ups for now. Give some of these ideas a try and see how your body responds.

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