Types of Push-ups
This exercise has a couple of complexity levels. Let’s introduce a five-point scale for push-ups; 1 will mean low complexity level, 5- very high level. But keep in mind, that this scale considers only the complexity of different exercises. Complexity is not synonymous to effectiveness. A highly complex exercise can be useless, or vice-versa. The following overview is helpful only when choosing the bodybuilding proficiency stage to practice the particular exercise version. More complex exercises suit higher bodybuilding experience.
Push-ups with Close Hands Position
Complexity level: 3.
Muscles: this exercise, similarly to narrow grasp bench-press, places emphasis on inner section of the pectoral muscles.
Instructions: take front leaning support position, arms straight, thumbs touching each other as well as index fingers. Slowly drop to zero position and then push yourself up with a strong force. Statically squeeze the triceps for 2 seconds at the highest position and then go back to the lower position; this way you intensify the useful pressure on your triceps.
Push-ups with Head up
Complexity level: 1.
Muscles: the force accent is shifted to the lower area of the pectoral muscles once the body is in inclined position and the head much higher above the feet. This version may feel much easier to do since a lot of the body weight is shifted on the feet, more than in regular push-ups.
Instructions: put a bench in front of you and set your hands a bit wider than shoulder width apart against its edge. Bend your arms and lower yourself down till your chest touches the edge of the bench slightly. Vigorously push yourself up.
Push-ups with Head Down
Complexity level: 3.
Muscles: this version shifts the force accent on the upper area of the pectoral muscles. The exercise is rather complicated since the hands support most of your body weight.
Instructions: the steps are exactly like in regular push-up with one thing being different: your toes rest against the top of a bench instead of the floor. Place your hands a little bit in front of your shoulder line; this will not affect the effectiveness but will help you maintain balance at the lowest position.
One Hand Push-ups
Complexity level: 5.
Muscles: this “circus” version is great at developing strength of the shoulder-girdle. It works on the pectoral muscle, as they say, from top to bottom. In addition, the triceps is highly loaded as well.
Instructions: take regular push-up position at first then draw one leg aside. Shift the weight of your body onto the hand opposite to the leg you just moved and put the other hand behind your back. You can start doing the push-ups once you learn to maintain your balance well. It is quite possible that you will fail at first. In that case start small – lower yourself no further than 10-15 cm. Once you conquer this “depth”, try going down extra 5-10 cm.
Complexity level: 4.
The goal of any plyometic exercises is not only to develop the muscle mass and endurance but also to develop their explosive power; fast and powerful reaction mobilises the nervous system and brings more muscle fibers to work. This is great for bodybuilders. Such physical activity stimulates nervous innervation. Simply speaking, the neural network grows thicker and denser, which in turns leads to greater mass development during the basic weightlifting exercises.
Instructions: starting position is same as in regular push-ups. Quickly lower yourself down and then push yourself up so that your hands leave the floor in one powerful dart. “Land” on your hands and do the next push-up right away. Advanced version: do one clap at the highest position.