Push-ups are usually the first exercise any of us thinks about when it comes to getting in shape. It totally makes sense since they’re pretty darn straightforward. On your hands, straight back, legs straight out behind you, arms aligned, drop, rise – repeat. But what so many people don’t know is that the push-ups we know are part of a very extensive family of other push-ups with other benefits. Here are just 3 variations of push-ups you probably don’t know about, but you should if you want to get trim and toned.
Single Leg Push-Ups
As the name suggests, you’re going to lift one of your legs in the air for this. If you can manage two legs, you’ll get incredible results, namely receiving the title of Superman. The exercise is very clear. Keep one leg raised as you complete 10 push-ups, then alternate by having the opposite leg in the air while you complete 10 more. Make sure not to let your lifted leg move around as you drop your chest to a few inches off the ground. Keep your back aligned. This exercise activates your core which in turn builds stability and muscle-growth potential throughout your body. It also works your hamstrings, buttocks and lower back.
Unfortunately this exercise does not in any way include having a nice hot cup of tea. So many people suffer with the challenge of burning down love handles, but who thought you could tackle them by dropping to the ground? And even more (or maybe the same amount) exciting, these ‘T’ push-ups give you wings! I’ll explain in a sec. First, you assume the traditional push-up position. Next you dip down as you normally would, but when you come back up, twist your body by lifting one of your arms up high and straight. The twist should open your abdomen like you were showing it off, then re-assume the original position and alternate sides. This exercise, aside from building shoulders, triceps and arm muscles, tightens and tones our tummies and the muscles that sit under our armpits – our “wings”.
For this exercise you need a mat and a pair of shoulders. Got it all? Good. Once again, you should assume the traditional position and get ready to dip. With each rise tap your shoulder with your opposite hand, and then continue. This push-up variation is an excellent way to boost and empower your core. It also strengthens your wrists, oblique muscles and triceps. But what I love most about it is that if you do it right, it progressively improves your posture and general muscle co-ordination.
They’re Not Just Push-Ups
It’s easy to overlook the simplicity of a home workout, and it’s even easier to replace it with a barrage of excuses as to why you can’t do one. But when all you need is a floor (I’m sure you can find one), and no more than 15 minutes you really shouldn’t be making any excuses. Instead you should be on the floor, doing push-ups… and on that note, drop and give me 50!