Exercise is something that is not just important for bodybuilding and losing weight. Physical exercises are important for overall health. Leading an active life and exercising regularly can help you to keep your heart healthy, improve mental health, reduce the risk of diabetes and strengthen your bones and muscles. Although different exercises have different benefits and when practiced properly can do wonders to your body. With push ups being one of the popular and effective exercises out there which helps you to build upper body strength, strengthen the core, back and abdominal muscles. This exercise also helps to enhance the cardiovascular system, prevents lower back injuries, improves posture and protects your shoulders from any kind of injury. As this one exercise has so many benefits let us take a look at its 5 variations, how they are performed and their benefits.
#1. Staggered Hand Push Ups
An advanced push up progression, staggered hand push up is an exercise that targets different body parts like triceps, chest, arms, shoulders and biceps. This exercise helps to tighten up and tone your core.
Follow these steps to perform staggered hand push ups effectively-
- Form a push up position
- Move one hand backward and the other one forward so they are at a distance of 12 inches from each other.
- Slowly bend your elbows in order to lower your chest so they are slightly lower than the level of your bent elbow.
- Stay in this position for a second or two and then push back up to the starting position.
- Keep your body steady, switch your arms and repeat.
#2. Spiderman Push up
Also known as side kick push up or offset push up, this exercise helps in core strengthening. This push up variation helps to reinforce the core and add more strength to it as compared to the traditional push up. It also helps to improve flexibility and strengthens the shoulders and biceps as well.
Here is how you can do a spiderman pushup to get a flexible body and stronger core-
- Start with a downward dog position or Adho Mukha Shvanasana
- Now bend your elbows and lower your face towards the ground between your hands.
- Arc your head and torso upwards as your hands touch your ribs.
- Stretch upwards until your arms are straight, and your hips are pressed towards the ground.
#3. Pike Push up
A push up variation which focuses on strengthening your shoulder muscles. This push up exercise would help you to develop the overhead push movement and strengthen your core. Not just your shoulders and core but this exercise helps to provide strength to your whole upper body.
Here is how you can do this no equipment exercise to develop an overhead push movement-
- Get on your hands and feet so that your hands are shoulder width apart and legs are hip width apart.
- Make sure that your back is aligned.
- Bend your elbows so that your arms form a 90 degree angle and bring your head close to the mat.
- Push your body away from the mat while straightening the elbows.
- Push the ground and return to the initial position.
#4. Cross Body Push up
A push up variation that not just works out the chest and shoulders but forces your abdominal and oblique muscles to work as well.This workout stresses upon the lower back and works out those hip muscles.
Try out this cross body push up variation to get your lower half working-
- Start with a standard push up position.
- Lower yourself to the ground and pick your left leg up and cross it beneath the ground.
- Now pick your right leg up and cross it beneath your body in a way that your hips are facing the ground.
#5. Clapping Push up
A push up variation that helps to increase the upper body strength, clapping push up enhances the core stability. This exercise helps to build up the upper body strength and reflexes along with shoulder mobility.
Practice this multifunctional push up exercise that will strengthen the shoulders, triceps and chest.
- Get into a standard plank position.
- Lower your chest to an extent that it is slightly below your shoulder bend.
- Stay in this position for a second so that you become steady.
- Push your body upwards and raise your palm a few inches above the ground.
- Quickly do a clap and softly land on your elbows in a push up formation.
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