Press-ups are something you may associate with military style training, aerobic training and circuit training. Yet more and more athletes now use them as part of their resistance plan to stimulate the development of lean muscle tissue! The beauty of the press-up is that there are so many different variations that you can hit your chest, triceps and even shoulders from all different angles. Here are 5 ways to use the press-up to accelerate your gains!
The regular conventional press up is fantastic for hitting your pectorals. The trick to using press-ups to stimulate growth is to perform the negative very slowly and explode up. Doing 15-20 of these will get a burn going in the chest, especially at the end of a chest workout which is when I would suggest using this exercise!
Taking the same position as a normal press-up you perform the negative portion of each repetition slowly as above, but at the bottom you ‘explode’ up so that your hands come off the ground momentarily. Some people like to clap their hands at this point, but I don’t see the benefit and it could actually take the focus of the exercise. By incorporating the explosive element of the press-up into your workout you should develop more power in the pectorals.
By placing your feet on a pressing bench facing downwards you have created a similar kind of angle if you were to do incline bench pressing. This is fantastic for isolating the upper pec area, and by sticking to the same form, using slow negatives and powering up on the positive part of the exercise you will really stimulate the upper portion of your chest muscles!
Close grip bar Press-ups
Take a smith machine bar and put it approximately 2.5 feet off the ground. Then take a close grip on the bar as you would with close grip bench press, and perform press ups. This exercise is fantastic for hitting your triceps and it is a very effective way of finishing a triceps workout off!
Upside down Press-ups
You may have seen dancers and the likes of do upside press-ups with their feet resting on the wall. Well this is a great exercise to hit your deltoids and traps, but make sure you are strong enough to press your own body weight because you may need some Ibuprofen otherwise!
There you have 5 fantastic variations of the press-up an almost ancient exercise. The other great benefit of press-ups is that you can do them just about anywhere. If you are on holiday, in a hotel or even on a boat!