Push-ups are one of the first exercises that most people learn. It's a real "I'm going to exercise", a solid reserve that almost everyone does when trying to get fit.
But what happens when you're in shape and you've gone beyond basic push-ups? What to do when standard bending is no longer a challenge?
Martin Rooney, the world-famous speed coach and author of the book "Ultimate Warrior Workouts," has some advice: "If you've been doing push-ups and you feel like they're no longer good for you, you're wrong. to change things and add variety to the push-ups in order to make it a more complete exercise for the whole body ".
Rooney says that push-ups can benefit from additional challenges for the abs, shoulders, legs or base.
The five variations of the following push-ups offer these challenges. Add them to your training when you are looking for a bit of variety, as well as an increase in muscle building, increase your strength, accelerating metabolism and improving your overall fitness.
There is always a way to change things and add variety to the push-ups to make them more complete, an exercise of the whole body.
Martin Rooney, speed trainer and author of the book "Ultimate Warrior Workouts"
Flexions Variation # 1 - T-Roll Flexures
T-roll flexes improve shoulder stability and rotational stability of the torso, as well as strengthening the lateral muscles of the thighs and buttocks. Juan Carlos Santana, founder and director of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton, Florida, says that T-roll pushups are his favorite variant. He adds that his coaches use them for almost everyone, from exercise enthusiasts to high-level fighters.
To perform these T-roll bends, assume the standard bending position, with the feet shoulder-width apart and the wrists below the shoulders. Low flexing the bottom. As you go up, turn your body to the right side, while raising your left hand towards the sky. You will end up on the side of your shoes with your body in the position of the letter "T." Pause at the top for a second, and that's a repeat. It falls back into flexion and repeats the same action on the other side.
Training Tips for T-Roll Push-ups:
While spinning the trunk, move the hips and shoulders at the same speed. Do not roll your hips before rolling your shoulders.
Keep the torso straight through the movements. Do not allow your hips to approach the floor at any time during the exercise.
Keep your legs straight through your movements, and do not allow your knees to bend.
Flexions Variation # 2 - The Superman push-ups
The Superman flexion has a lot of cost-benefit, works the chest and shoulders, as well as the buttocks and muscles of the middle back. This variation also forces the abdominal muscles to work overtime in an attempt to keep the spine aligned and maintain the stability of the body during movements.
To do the Superman flex, stand in the standard position, with the feet shoulder-width apart and the wrists below the shoulders. Low flexing the bottom. As you go up, raise your right arm up and keep it in front of your body. At the same time, lift the left leg off the ground and keep it in a straight line behind you. Pause holding up for a second. Do a repeat. Go down again and repeat the same action on the other side.
Training tips for Superman flexion:
Keep your torso straight through your movements. Make sure your hips do not get close to the floor during exercise.
Keep your legs straight through your movements, and do not bend your knees.
Push-ups Variation # 3 - Elevated push-ups
When you raise your legs, you put more weight on your upper body. This translates into greater muscle gains in the chest, shoulders and triceps. If you want an even greater challenge, especially for your abs, you can place a weight plate on your back, forcing your abdominal muscles to work harder to keep your back straight.
To do elevated foot bends, raise your feet in a box or step and enter the standard bending position. Take two or three seconds to descend, pause at the bottom and then explosively push up. If that's too easy, ask a friend to put a weight plate on your back or wear a weight vest. Do not let your lower back give in at any time.
Training tips for high-leg push-ups:
If you elevate your feet in a typical gym bench, you will increase your chest and tricep muscles and increase your abdominal training.
If you decide to raise your feet higher than a weight bench, you will start to have more shoulders and triceps, and fewer pecs and abdominals.
When you use a weight plate on your back, tell your training partner to place the weight on your middle back, not on your lower back.
Flexions Variation # 4 - Crossover Pushup (Push-Ups)
The position of hand displacement during cross bending forces the abdominal and oblique muscles to work much harder to control your spine. As an additional advantage, this version will allow you to load one side a little more than the other, which is beneficial to correct muscle imbalances.
To carry out the crossing bend, put the step on the ground. To the left of it, assume the standard bending position, but place your right hand on the step. Make a bend. When you get up, however, quickly push yourself up and to the right, over the step. Land with your right hand on the ground and with the left hand now on the step. Continue alternating from one side to the other with each repetition.
Training Tips for cross bends:
Keep your shoulders level, even though one arm will be lower than the other.
You can keep your feet in one place while you move or allow your feet to move with your upper body as you change sides. Simultaneously moving the legs with the upper part of the body is a little more difficult than keeping them still.
Flexions Variation # 5 - The flexion of the fighter
Versatile tools in your exercise plan
Flexions, like all other exercises, are tools. And certain jobs require certain tools. But do not fall victim to the belief that everything comes down to tools, that the more you have, the more you will be fulfilled.
Fitness is not based on increasing your collection of tools. It's about getting more value than you already have.
Standard flex is a tool that is also an extremely versatile exercise. Almost anyone can learn to do push-ups, work on refining them, and then easily modify them to increase strength, power, functional capacity, and even physical appearance.
Take an inventory of your basic tools, the tried and true exercises and workouts, and pay attention to versatility. Look which ones would benefit with a few simple adjustments. A small change in position, movement or intensity could be all you need to see even better results.