With a few simple tweaks, this classic move can become an even better toner.
With a few simple tweaks, this classic move can become an even better toner. Here, Faheem Mujahid, owner and master trainer at InFluence in Miami, offers five killer ways to shake 'em up.
Why push-ups are great
Push-ups are just as effective at building your chest and arm strength as bench-pressing, research shows.
Your plan: Build on a classic push-up
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands a few inches outside of shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Draw belly button in to engage core. Keeping body in a straight line from head to heels, inhale as you lower chest to the floor, elbows back, then exhale as you push back up. Watch the video:
Then, pick your push-up variation, and do 2 or 3 sets of 10 reps, 2 or 3 times a week.
Start in a straight-arm plank with arms close to torso and hands a few inches apart underneath chest. Bend elbows and lower chest to the floor; push back up.
Make it harder: Place hands on a medicine ball to ensure an even narrower grip and challenge your balance.
Body benefit: Bringing the arms and hands closer together hits your triceps (and those stubborn bat wings) more effectively.
Start in a classic push-up position. Bend arms and lower chest to the floor; as you push back up, lift right arm straight in the air while rotating torso to the right to form a T with your body. Return to start and repeat on left side.
Make it harder: Use 5- to 8- pound dumbbells to add resistance during the lifting phase.
Body benefit: It helps with rotational movement and isolates the core, tapping more of your obliques. Plus it opens up your midback.
RELATED: How to Do Perfect Push-Ups
Start in a classic push-up position with feet elevated on a stable platform (like a box or bench). Bend elbows and lower chest to the floor; push back up.
Make it harder: Add height—the higher the elevation, the more resistance against your body.
Body benefit: This position allows you to target your shoulders more.
Resistance band push-up
Drape a medium resistance band over back, wrapping the ends around wrists (or hold them in your hands). Do a classic push-up.
Make it harder: Choose a higher-level resistance band, or alternate lifting each leg between push-ups.
Body benefit: The amount of resistance will gradually increase throughout the range of motion, working your muscles super hard.
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands a few inches outside of shoulders and feet on a stability ball (or in the loops of TRX suspension training bands). Bend arms and lower chest to the floor; push back up. Bring knees in toward chest, then kick them back out; repeat entire sequence.
Make it Harder: Go faster. Speed offers the added element of cardio.
Body benefit: The ball creates instability, which forces the muscles in your shoulders and core to work harder to maintain balance.
RELATED: 10-Minute Workout for Defined Arms