One thing my clients universally agree on is that pushups are hard, especially for my female clients. Pushups are a favorite of mine because they make my clients so miserable. Did I say that? I meant to say I like pushups because they work so many muscle groups: the chest, shoulders and arms as well as the abs, back and legs for stabilization. I also like that there are so many variations so, no matter what your fitness level is, you can find a pushup that works for you. Last, being able to push your own body weight off the floor is a useful skill to have, especially if you're a klutz like me.
Below, I'm listing my favorite pushup variations, from beginner to advanced, and I challenge you to try at least one version of pushups today:
Wall Pushups: If you're just getting started with
pushups, the wall pushup (or, as shown here, on a stair railing) is a
great way to give your body support while you practice your form.
By staying upright, you don't have to lift all your body weight.
Once you perfect this version, you can move on to a more challenging
Pushups on the Knees: For this version, you're on your
knees with the back flat and the abs contracted. Being on your knees makes
the move easier than when you're on your toes.
Modified BOSU Balance Trainer Pushup: This pushup is
shown using a BOSU, which adds a core challenge but also can make the move a
little easier, since your upper body is elevated. You can also do this on
a step or platform.
Pushups: Traditional pushups are done on your hands and
toes, a real challenge for the upper body as well as the core. If you
having trouble doing full pushups, try keeping one knee down for support.
Pushups on the ball: Decline pushups are more advanced
and placing your feet on a ball will add even more intensity. You can
always put the knees/thighs on the ball to make the move easier.