Push-ups! The classic go-to exercise.
You can do them anywhere, anytime, without equipment and at different physical levels.
Everyone knows about push-ups, but do you know about the various types and how to actually do them properly?
Push-ups, if done properly, are a great exercise that targets your chest, tricep and shoulder muscles and also partly works your core and back.
It is important to know which one you should do and how to correctly do the movement in order to prevent injury and to work the muscle appropriately as well.
Castle Gym’s Personal Trainer, Rob, has put together a brief guide on some classic push-ups.
What are some different types of push-ups?
These are your core types from beginner to advanced.
There are still plenty of others such as one-handed push-ups, wide push-ups, clap push-ups and many more but we’ll focus on the main ones.
These are the perfect push-ups for a beginner.
If you are new to push-ups or if you are returning to exercise after a long break or injury the box push-up will be a good starting point for you.
Performing this movement will help lead you into the other types of push-ups. This is mainly for building triceps to help you progress to full push-ups.
By taking the weight of your lower body out of the equation there will be less strain on your upper body muscles to do this exercise.
To do the box push-up you will have your knees and feet on the ground at a right angle. Start with your back straight and arms just past shoulder width.
Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, begin to bend your elbows and lower your chest till you are a few inches off the ground (or to a distance you’re comfortable with). Then extend and raise yourself back into your starting position. Throughout the movement keep your spine straight to prevent discomfort or injury in your back, this can be done by keeping your core contracted.
Repeat this move in a steady rhythm.
Remember to control your breathing and only do as many as your body is comfortable with (and then one more)!
Knee push-ups are the next level up. This is what you want to aim for if you are comfortable with box push-ups, but aren’t quite ready for the full push-up style yet.
The main difference with knees push-ups over box push-ups is the increase in weight you will push.
Your upper body will be further forwards and your feet will no longer be on the ground. So you will be controlling more of your own mass during the exercise.
From the box position, move your hands and upper body forwards so that you are taking more weight from your hips. Then raise your feet slightly off the ground, do not cross your feet as this will misalign your hips for the exercise and can cause long-term imbalances.
Your push-up movement should be fluid. When you bend your elbows into the push position you should be moving your back in a straight manoeuvre. Lower yourself as far as you can till you are just off the ground.
Then you push back up into your starting position, raising yourself in one controlled movement.
Repeat this movement keeping your body steady, do as many as you are comfortable with doing.
Full push-ups, otherwise known as army or military push-ups are the standard push-ups you will probably think of when a push-up is mentioned.
This is a more difficult type of push-up.
However, for anyone looking to exercise and to get fit and strong, this is the type of push-up you want to aim for.
To correctly do these push-ups, start with your feet together, your hands flat on the ground level with your shoulders, and your arms straight.
To work the muscles correctly you need to lower your body in one smooth movement. Keep your back, all the way through your legs to your feet, straight. Lower yourself till you’re just off the ground, or until you are comfortable, then extend back up.
Control your breathing, breathe in on the way down, and breathe back out going up. Keep a steady rhythm, the more controlled the push-up is, the better you will be working the muscles.
Again, only do as many reps as your body is comfortable with doing (and do another one)!
The diamond push-up is a more advanced move as it requires more balance and strength.
Starting in the full/army push-up position, move your hands in together. Touch your thumbs and index fingers together to form a diamond or triangle shape.
In the same way as the full push-up, lower your body down to a comfortable position or till your chest is just past your bent elbows. Then push back up again. This movement will require more strength, control, and balance than the full push up due to the smaller stability base the diamond shape creates.
Be sure to stay within your comfort zone for the reps and keep a steady control of your breathing.
Whichever push-up you do it’s important to stay within your physical limits. Forcing yourself to exercise over your limits can result in serious injuries, but try to push yourself more each time in a safe and controlled manner.
Warm up, control your breathing and be mindful of your limits.
Which push-ups are your favourite?
If you want to look into hiring a personal trainer to help you exercise properly and to help you achieve your goals then enquire with us today.