Push Ups Anyone?

By February 28, 2016 Fitness Tips No Comments

Pushups are one of the most widely performed exercises.  Regardless of your fitness level, there is probably a pushup for you.  If you know a little about the anatomy of a pushup, it can help you get even more benefit from this exercise.

PRIME MOVER (Agonist)

The agonist, or the prime mover muscle, is the target muscle for a particular exercise. For the pushup, the prime mover or agonist is the pectoralis major, or pecs (chest muscles).   As you lower yourself toward the floor, the pecs lengthen and control the speed of your descent.  As you push back up again, they shorten.  The lowering and lengthening phase of the exercise is called an eccentric contraction while the lifting and shortening phase is called a concentric contraction.

HELPER MUSLE (Synergists)

When working a major muscle group, there is usually  more than one muscle involved.  These helper muscles are commonly referred to as synergists.   Although not the major muscle of the exercise, these muscles are important as they assist the prime mover (agonist).   Other muscles that are working when performing a pushup are the triceps and the anterior deltoids or front shoulder muscles. They assist with elbow extension and shoulder flexion, respectively.  Now that you know a little more about the pushup, here are five movements you can give a try in your next workout.

Patrick Dale, Demand Media

FIVE PUSH UPS YOU CAN DO

Here are five ways to do a Push Up.  Add them in your normal workout routine.  Start with 2-3 set,  8-15 reps. Pick one or more movements to add into your Upper Body routine.  Remember, you are working more than your pecs when you perform these movements.

1  Push up – Kneeling
1. Start in a modified push-up position with your hands and knees on the ground. 2. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the ground. 3. Without touching the ground, push yourself back up. 4. Continue for the full set. Be sure to: Keep your body in a straight line and push your chest as far away from your hands as possible. You should feel it: Working your chest, arms, and torso.

2  Push up
1. Start in the classic push-up position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your legs straight behind you. 2. Keeping your torso stable and hips square to the ground, bend your elbows to lower your body towards the ground. 3. Without touching the ground, push yourself back up. 4. Continue for the full set. Be sure to: Keep your body in a straight line and push your chest as far away from your hands as possible. You should feel it: Working your chest, arms, and torso.

3  Push up – 1 Foot
1. Start in the classic push-up position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your legs straight behind you. 2. Lift one foot 2 to 3 inches off the ground while keeping your legs straight. 3. Keeping your torso stable and hips square to the ground, bend your elbows to lower your body towards the ground. 4. Without touching the ground, push yourself back up. 5. Complete the set on one side before repeating with the opposite foot in the air. Be sure to: Keep your body in a straight line and push your chest as far away from your hands as possible. You should feel it: Working your chest, arms, and torso.

4 Push up (Feet on stability ball)
1. Start in a modified push-up position with your hands on the floor and your feet on a stability ball. 2. Keeping your torso engaged, bend your arms and lower yourself toward the floor. 3. Push yourself back up, pushing your chest as far away from the floor as possible. 4. Continue for the full set. Be sure to: At the top of the move, push your shoulder blades as far away from each other and forward as possible. You should feel it: Working your torso, shoulders, chest, and arms.

5 Push up (1 Foot on stability ball)
1. Start in a modified push-up position with your hands on the floor and one foot on a stability ball. 2. Keeping your stomach tight, bend your arms to lower yourself to the floor. 3. Push your chest as far away from the floor as possible while keeping the ball under control. 4. Continue for the remainder of the set. Be sure to: Keep your hips square to the ground throughout the movement. You should feel it: Working your torso, shoulders, chest, and arms.

Wanna see how its done in a video, click the link below.  Once there, hover over the name of the exercise in blue under the picture and click, a video will start to show you the correct form.  You want a printout? On the right side of the page, click ‘Print Workout’ in image view or or simple view.  Enjoy!

www.ideafit.com/workout/73397?shared=1

 

 

 

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