5 Ways to Make Any Push-up Harder
Push-ups are one of the best exercises for developing muscular strength and endurance, especially pertaining to the upper body. In fact, a regular push-up requires you to lift 64 percent of your own body-weight and 49 percent when performed on your knees or on an elevated bench.
If you’ve become rather awesome at push-ups, then it may be time to progress them. One of the most obvious progressions is to jump from performing a push-up on your knees to performing them with your legs on the ground. Another obvious way to make any push-up harder is to increase the repetitions.
If you’re already performing push-ups with your legs on the ground and you’ve increased your reps, it’s time for some new progressions. To give you some ideas, here are five ways to make push-ups harder:
1) Add a pause at the bottom of the push-up
2) Diamond push-ups: Make a diamond shape with your hands and place them chest level.
3) Close-grip push-ups: Bring your elbows into your sides so that they are flush with your ribs. This movement will place more emphasis on the triceps.
4) Elevate your legs: Place your legs on a stability ball (to further engage the core) or bench. By doing so, your shoulders will also become more involved.
5) Medicine ball push-ups: For starters you can place one arm on a medicine ball and one arm on the floor. Perform 10 push-ups, and then switch the ball to the other arm. If you’re very advanced, you can perform push-ups with a ball under each hand.
Remember: The key to performing a great push-up is to keep your core and glutes really tight and engaged by squeezing them throughout the entire exercise. Your back and hips should be flat and in a neutral position. If your hips are popping up or dipping down, reset your form and do fewer repetitions. Lastly, keep your arms at a 45-degree angle from your body when performing a standard push-up. Placing them at 90 degrees will only add unwanted stress to your shoulder joints.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems, a 2015 Home-Based Business of the Year from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. DeHenzel Training Systems develops customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.