“Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is my pleasure and privilege to be your coach and demonstrate to you one of the most precious skills that many of you have sought for a long time. I want to promise you that this speech will change your workout life forever. So, sit back, relax, pay attention, and apply these concepts.
Pushups, in addition to strengthening your pectoral muscles, have numerous far-reaching benefits on your whole body. It bestows power to your arm, chest and shoulder. Moreover, pushups help you to lose weight, and to tone the muscles of your upper body. Those among you who have delved into this whole-body workout can attest to the validity of my statements.
However, I’m sure a majority of you have not experienced much of these benefits and you wonder why. In addition to having frantic experience with pushups, many of you end up nursing serious myalgia and arthralgia, and are tempted to imagine that pushups are not a viable exercise. The reason is that you’ve been doing it in the wrong manner.
Before I discovered these wonderful truths, I used to experience worse than you do. I, therefore, concur with Borreani, Calatayud Colado, Moya-Nájera, Triplett and Martin (2015) who made a valid assertion that without employing the right methodology in pushup, the exercise can predispose to serious harm. It is, therefore, an imperative for you to learn the right techniques. It is never too late to do so and I shall teach you how.
There are four basic types of pushups; the traditional pushup, wide grip pushup, close grip pushup, and modified pushup. I shall give directions on how to perform these techniques and describe the benefits of performing them. I will begin with traditional push up.
Traditional Push up
Traditional push up is one with which most of you are well-versed. It strengthens the shoulders, the chest, the arms, legs and upper back. Performing traditional pushup technique is quite simple: First place your hands beneath your shoulders with legs fully extended. Secondly, tighten your body and squeeze your buttocks. Then, lower your body slowly until you touch the ground with your chest then push your body up from the ground again. Repeat the third step ten times, maintaining your body position. Take a three-minutes rest and repeat the whole process again. Most people do three rounds, but that will depend on your level of perseverance. Be careful not to overdo the pushes because you can tear your muscles. Are we together? Okay, without much ado, let us proceed to wide grip push up.
Wide Grip Push up
As the name suggests, the technique involves placing your hands wider than shoulder length apart. According to Cameron (2017), the chest muscles are used more when the hands are wide apart during pushup. So this technique primarily helps you tone your chest muscles such as the pectoralis major by concentrating your weight on your chest.
This is how you perform wide grip push up: Place your hands slightly farther apart than the distance between your shoulders. Make sure your fingers face forward. Extend your feet with the toes tight on the floor. Then tighten your core, squeeze your buttocks and ensure your back is flat. Go down slowly until your chest touches the ground. As you go down, ensure that your elbows remain perpendicular to your wrists. When your chest is just about to reach the floor, push your body up. Maintain a slow rhythm of the movement for as many repeats as possible. Is there any question up to that point? The next technique is close grip push up.
Close Grip Push up
An example of close grip pushup is the diamond push up. When the hands are close together, the body weight gets suspended on the triceps (Cameron, 2017). Technique, therefore, tones the triceps and empowers the arm.
To perform close grip pushups, place your hands closer apart than your shoulder. Borreani et al. (2015) advise that the distance between your hands is directly proportional to the emphasis you want to put on the triceps. You can make your hands assume the triangle shape, diamond, or hearth shape. Extend your legs, support your back, and tighten both your buttocks and your abdomen. Flex your elbow to go down slowly and rise up in the same manner slowly. It sounds very simple but be keen to follow every step, right? Finally, let’s look at modified push-ups.
Modified Push up
Modified push-ups have numerous benefits. It trains you for more enriching push-ups and works your core. It also makes your chest strong and sculpts your arms (Gulmez, 2017). Moreover, by modifying push-ups, you are able to tone all the muscles of your upper body.
To perform a modified push up, kneel on your mat and put your hand below the shoulders. Tighten your abdomen and your buttocks and lower your chest slowly to the ground then up again. Other modifications include one leg push up, and doing push-ups on one hand.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is how simple it is to do enriching push-ups. When done wrongly, push-ups become a total wastage of the precious workout time and orchestrate serious problems. Indeed many people out there perish for lack of insight, but I’m glad you are no longer going to be among those people because you are now equipped with knowledge. In all the techniques remember to breath in on your way down and breathe out while rising. Also remember to keep your face in front and your neck flexed. If there is no question on what we have discussed, we shall end at that point. Thank you for listening and I wish you all the best in your workouts.”
Borreani, S., Calatayud, J., Colado, J. C., Moya-Nájera, D., Triplett, N. T., & Martin, F. (2015). Muscle activation during push-ups performed under stable and unstable conditions. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 13(2), 94-98.
Cameron, J. (2017). U.S. Patent No. 9,533,189. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Gulmez, I. (2017). Effects of Angle Variations in Suspension Push-up Exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(4), 1017-1023.