Push-up Variations Your Upper Body Hasn't Even Thought About
The almighty push-up! One of the oldest – not to mention most effective – upper body exercises out there. But there are a plethora of push-up variations that can add some serious added strength and flavor to your upper body workouts.
Variety in your workout is key to developing a well-rounded physique. This is especially true when it comes to working for well-defined chests, shoulders, and arms.
So, if push-ups become stale and you need some diversity in your chest exercises, then try these GymnasticBodies favorites for building a strong, mobile, and well-developed chest.
Upside-Down Push-Up Variation — the Box Push-Ups
Most people think that push-ups and dips are the end-all be-all for optimal chest development. But here’s a little-known fact about your pectoral muscles: they have muscle fibers that allow you to press overhead as well.
If you want a well-balanced upper body then box headstand push-ups are a must-have in your fitness repertoire. An essential exercise en route to the handstand push-up, this scaled down version will build strength in your upper chest, shoulders, and triceps.
How To: Start by elevating your feet on an elevated surface, then walk your hands directly underneath your hips. Your body should resemble an upside-down letter “L”. With your core engaged, bend your arms until your head lowers to the ground in front of your hands, then push back up.
Bench Dips: Strength And Mobility Combined
The Bench Dip is another great exercise for your chest, triceps, and shoulders. Rather than pressing your arms forward, this variation allows you to press downwards, which places a greater stretch on your chest and shoulders. The strength AND added mobility here is a huge benefit.
How deep can your shoulders go? See what you've got with this awesome mobility/strength combo from the GB Online Courses!
How to: Grab a bench or a chair and let’s get to dipping. With the bench behind you, place your hands on the edge to support your weight onto your arms. We prefer you to elevate your legs so that your legs are parallel to the floor with your back vertical. Bend your arms to lower straight down into a deep stretch, then push back upwards. Make sure all reps are completed with full range of motion.
If you are new to bench dips, make sure you stretch your shoulders because this exercise requires a good amount of shoulder extension flexibility. Check out the Stretch Series for increasing upper body mobility.
Turbocharge with Pseudo-Planche Push-ups
Once you are able to perform push-ups with relative ease, you can further challenge yourself by leaning forward so that your hands are directly underneath your navel. This is known as a pseudo-planche push-up in the GB Foundation Series.
How to: Keep your core tight and squeeze your glutes to flatten your lower back. Spread your shoulder blades as wide as you can, which should feel like your upper back is rounding slightly. Bend your arms to lower your chest forwards towards the floor. Then, with your core engaged tightly, press back up to your starting position.
GymnasticBodies upper body strength means creating diversity and added mobilizing benefits to your arms, chest and shoulder girdle, resulting in a powerful body you are proud of.