Friday, 2 January 2009

Push Ups (Press Ups)

Push ups and their many variations are a great addition to a flexible training program. I've never been in a hotel room where you couldn't find room to do this exercise. There are many variations, which can be as easy or as hard as you want. Some of these are shown by these videos and links - I will post a wider variety in due course.
Basic Push Up
I have removed the basic push up video because it now includes an annoying commercial at the start. Instead, take a look at the weighted push up video in the next section. This shows how a correct push up inludes a full extension at the top - something people rarely do, but which really adds to the value of the exercise. This last bit of extension is sometimes done in isolation, and called a 'scapula push up.'
Weighted Push Ups

Close-Grip Push Ups
These emphasise your triceps. Also known as the 'triangle push up', apparently.

Inverted (Decline) Push Ups
You can do these by elevating your feet. There are two variations I have used.

Inverted 'Pike' Push Ups - where you flex at the hips to place more emphasis on the shoulders. With this approach it is actually possible to use a flat wall, maintaining your feet in place by pushing backwards with your hands.

Normal Inverted Press Ups - where you maintain the rigid body position as with a regular press up. This isn't the best form I have ever seen, but I like the fact he's doing it outside rather than in a gym.

Plyometric (Explosive) Push Ups, with a Clap
This guy has good form, I reckon. I have seen videos of people doing 2 and 3 claps, or even claps behind the back - but in most cases they appear to flex at the hips to obtain the height (and therefore time) necessary to do this. I am not sure what the point is - I would rather do fewer claps and leave the hips out of it.

Jack La Lanne Push Ups
These also give your abs some work to do!