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9 push ups that'll keep you fit

By Mukul Nagpaul
October 08, 2018 11:40 IST
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Push up

Photograph: Kind courtesy Jacqueline Fernandez/Instagram

If you are a fitness freak, you know the importance of doing push ups.

It’s one of the best body-weight exercises for the upper body.

There are so many fun ways of doing push ups that it's hard to get bored of them.

Here are some interesting ones you can try:

Wall push up or Incline push up

Wall push ups are an easier version of the standard push up and work to improve muscular strength and endurance in the chest, shoulders and triceps muscles.

Wall push ups are an excellent option for beginners who cannot support their body weight or pregnant women who cannot lie on their stomachs.

Knee push up

A knee push-up mimics the namesake motion, but with one variation to make it easier for individuals who struggle with a traditional push-up: the placement of the knees.

Normal push up

A conditioning exercise performed in a prone position by raising and lowering the body with the straightening and bending of the arms while keeping the back straight and supporting the body on the hands and toes.

Decline push up

A decline variation targets your upper chest and fronts of shoulders more aggressively than a regular push-up performed on level ground.

Perform it in addition to a regular push-up -- as well as with other chest exercises -- to get the most well-rounded chest development.

Diamond push up

The diamond push up is an advanced progression of the standard push up which increases the demands on the triceps and shoulders.

Get into the standard push up position with your hands together directly beneath your chest so that index fingers and thumbs are touching to form a triangle or 'diamond' shape.

TRX push up

TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise.

These types of exercises are completed with a suspension trainer that usages gravity and your own body weight.

There are 100s of exercises which can be completed with these suspension straps.

The TRX push-up adds a new twist to the classic push-up, making it more difficult.

This is because the suspension trainer adds instability to the workout. This will challenge your control level and work your chest in more directions than a standard push-up.

Swiss Ball push up

Performing exercises like the plank and the push-up using a stability ball has been shown to activate twice the number of core muscles.

The ball is an unstable surface. To keep yourself balanced on the ball while doing the exercise, you use many stabiliser muscles that don't often get a good workout on weight machines, for example.

The result is a better core workout and improved balance.

Handstand push up

The handstand push-up (press-up) -- also called the vertical push-up (press-up), the inverted push-up, also called 'commandos' is a type of push-up exercise where the body is positioned in a handstand.

Handstand push ups require significant strength, as well as balance and control if performed free-standing.

Single arm push up

The one-arm push-up might be one of the most difficult bodyweight movements to master.

Almost 70 percent of your bodyweight is bearing down on one arm.

If you can accomplish this fitness feat, it's a great trick for parties or to impress everyone at the gym.

In addition to giving you a slight ego boost, the exercise works wonders for your body as it strengthens your arm, shoulder, chest, core and even your hips.

Some other forms of push ups include:

  • TRX Atomic push up
  • Plyometric push up
  • Alternating medicine ball push up
  • BOSU dome up push up
  • Planks to push up
  • Superman push up

One of the main things about doing push ups is to get your form right so that you are hitting the right muscles and not causing any unwanted damage to the joints and muscles of your body.

So it’s always advisable to start off with the easiest way to do push ups on the wall or some support like a box (incline push up) in front of your body and then progress to knee push ups, then to normal push ups and so on.

Push ups can be done any day and anytime but the best way to get the maximum out of push ups is to do them on alternate days and according to the goals.

For a person who is targeting fat loss can do them for 15-20 reps for 2-3 sets, a person who is targeting muscle gain can do them for 8 to 12 reps for 2 to 3 sets in the most challenging way and for a person who is targeting muscle endurance can aim for 100 push ups with minimum rest.

The most common and safe way to do push ups is to start in a plank position, palms flat on the floor and slightly more than shoulder -- width apart, your feet should be together and your legs straight.

Push your body upwards and straighten your arms and then lower your body returning to the starting position.

Benefits of push ups:

  • Improves muscular endurance in the upper body
  • Helps in building lean muscle mass
  • Raises metabolism
  • Helps burn calories
  • Strengthens not only chest but shoulders and triceps as well
  • Strengthens core muscles
  • Can be done anywhere
  • Strengthens bones
  • Good for cardiovascular fitness

The author Mukul Nagpaul is founder, PMF Training that provides customised workout services.

Lead image published for representational purposes only.

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Mukul Nagpaul