With the current lockdown still in place and the reopening of gyms being a matter of uncertainty, home training is where it’s at for the time being. Given the likelihood that home workouts for most of us will involve limited or no additional equipment, bodyweight exercises are a must for those of us wanting to maintain strength training practices.
The classic push-up is an acclaimed bodyweight exercise that targets areas of the upper body through a powerful functional push movement. It’s effectiveness in hitting our chest, shoulder and arm muscles simultaneously whilst also engaging our core make it a super powerful multi-muscle targeting training exercise. For this reason, push-ups are one of the most popular bodyweight exercises for home training sessions.
However, one thing that’s often forgotten when it comes to push-ups is the versatility offered by push-up variations. There’s no better time to spice up your push-up training style! – keep reading to check out some great variations to try out the next time your training your upper body at home.
Lockdown- The Best Time To Switch Up Your Approach To Bodyweight Movements
Though lockdown is denying us trips to the gym and being active with friends or fellow fitness-class attenders, it provides us an opportunity to develop our abilities when it comes to adapting our training behaviours.
Classic functional bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats and lunges can have a profound impact on our fitness journeys, regardless of if they’re being executed at home or in the gym. Now, with this in mind, lockdown training can be approached proactively with the intention to switch up the way that we use these exercises. This can actually be massively beneficial as new challenges and training demands can spur on fitness progression like nothing else!
To check out our top bodyweight squat variations to try out at home, check out our “Switch Up Your Squatting Style – LBL’s Top 5 Squat Variations” blog!
Right, back to push-ups, here’s 5 push-up variations to add to your home fitness routine!
Push-Up Variations – 5 Great Push-Up Styles
Before we commence, a little reminder for beginners and those of us who struggle with correct push-up technique, if you can’t perform a push-up with the right form, do not fret! – the push-up can be a tricky movement but it’s definitely something that we can all grasp overtime with practice and effort. An approach to push-ups and push-up variations which adds some more ease to the trainer is through having your knees on the floor.
So, let’s take a look at LBL’s top 5 push-up variations:
1. Close-Grip Push-Up
The close-grip push-up which is also known as the diamond push-up is probably one of the most well-known push-up variations. The only difference between performing a classic push-up and this variation is the positioning of the hands, which are positioned close to each other.
This close-grip positioning makes this variation a great targetter of the triceps which are massively engaged within this movement!
2. Push-Up & Row
This push-up variation can be tricky for first timers, but if grasped, this movement can go a long way! The push-up & row involves throwing some weights into the mix – with a weight in each hand and the body positioned in the classic push-up position, this variation involves doing an alternating single-arm row following each push-up repetition.
Essentially, this movement combines two exercises and makes them one collective badass movement which targets the chest, arms and shoulders…as well as the back!
3. Clock Push-Ups
Looking to add more movement and intensity to your push-up style?
If you are, then the clock push-up style is something that you should definitely give a go! This variation involves doing a certain number of classic push-up repetitions (starting at the 12 o’clock position), shifting your weight to the right by moving to your hands (to the 3, then 6, 9 o’clock positions) and repeating the process at each position.
The dynamic style of this variation makes it great for HIIT workouts!
4. Clapping Push-Ups
This explosive variation can add a completely new dimension to your push-up approach! This variation involves exploding upwards and clapping with each repetition. An easier version of this variation would be to explode upwards without clapping.
The need for the body to execute a controlled movement whilst also exploding upwards does a really great job with engaging the core for support and stability.
5. Weighted Push-Up
The weighted push-up is basically the classic-up push up with the only difference being an increased intensity as you’ll be lifting the weight of both your body and the additional weight.
The additional weight is placed on your back- for this, a weight or an everyday object such as a bag of books can be used. This is a variation that you can get truly creative with!
Spice Up Your Life With Exercise Variations
Trying out variations of exercises will not only keep your training sessions interesting and exciting, but it’ll also place new training demands in front of your body. Such training demands can lead to progression as a means for your body to grasp new training methods!
There’s no time like the present, spice up your home training with new exercise approaches and variations!