Let’s Rip Those Pecs And Triceps With Pushups

The pushup is legendary. From raw beginners to SAS soldiers and world champion boxers, the pushup is part of every training program no matter your level. The classic pushup primarily targets these muscles:

  • chest muscles, or pectorals
  • shoulders, or deltoids
  • back of your arms, or triceps
  • abdominals
  • the ‘wing’ muscles directly under your armpit, called the serratus anterior

It’s all in your hands

Please note that the position of your hands on the ground determines which muscle groups are targeted. 

Narrow pushups

These are executed with your hands closer together and they target your chest and triceps.

Wide pushups

You do these with your hands further apart, targeting your chest and shoulders. These are ideal for beginners.   

How to pump out pushups properly   

Like any exercise, achieving optimum results depends on correct execution. The right training technique also minimises risk of injury.  

The execution of a pushup begins in the classic position with your upper body parallel to the floor and supported with arms or hands that are slightly wider than shoulder-width. It is particularly important that the upper and lower body form a line. Another common mistake is letting your core sag. You’ll need to apply a certain amount of body tension to avoid sag. 

Executing the perfect pushup begins with lowering the upper body using your the arms, shoulders and chest. During this movement, you must keep the upper and lower body in a straight line. When your nose almost touches the floor, initiate the upward movement, pushing the upper body back into the starting position. To avoid injury, avoid completely stretching of the elbow joints.

You’ll be crushing 20-30 pushups in no time

We won’t lie, it’s tough at first. But stick with it and you’ll get the muscle-rippling rewards that come with sweat and perseverance. Before too long, you’ll be racking up 30 pushups before you start to strain. Pushups in the higher repetition range are therefore very suitable for building muscle, provided the exercise is carried out to the limit.

Reps bring results

The science is in. Recent studies show that training sets with up to 35 reps are great for building muscle mass as long as you push yourself to the limit and can’t do any more. In fact, it was shown that pushups are as good a bench presses for building strength and overll physical performance.

Rep rate is key

In addition to ripping out an appropriate rep rate, it’s important to focus on cadence – that’s the term for the speed of movement during an exercise. A rep cadence rate of at least 1:1 is recommended for pushups. This refers to the seconds it takes to complete the positive part of the pushup, the pushing up, then the negative part, the lowering down. Simple 1 second up, 1 second down.  

Do pushups every Day

Practice makes perfect – perfectly ripped pecs that is. Aim to pump out 100 total perfect pushups across the course of each day. You can do sets of 5, 10, 15, or even 20 reps. It may not seem a lot but it will get your body trained and conditioned. You’ll find you can soon knock out 50 reps easily. 

Add them up

100 pushups a days is 36,500 a year. You’ll probably do more. Be disciplined. There are no excuses because you can do them anywhere. 

Pushups for beginners

There are lots of reasons why the classic pushup isn’t achievable for everyone. No problem. Let’s work up to it. The Maxxus gym is for everyone. 

Kneeling pushups are a great place to start because your legs aren’t stretched so your knees can give you some stability to get those pecs and shoulders working. It won’t be long until your legs are straight out and you’re pumping out classic pushups. 

Pushups hardcore gym junkies

If you can do classic pushups in your sleep, here’s a challenge. Push-up grips are a cool piece training equipment that push you to the next level. Grips make pushups more comfortable because the handles put your hands in the ideal position. When you’re doing regular pushups, your wrists bend because your palms have to touch the floor. With grips, your hands are in a natural position so you can do more reps, faster. 

Another way to get better results from pushups is to train with weight vests. Because pushups are a classic self-weight exercise, weight vests simply increase that weight load and make you work harder.

Here’s a classic. One-armed pushups are serious. You’re reached the supreme level if you can pump these babies out and only hardcore trainers should make them part of their training program.  

FAQ

Which muscles are used during the push-up?

The classic pushup primarily targets these muscles:

  • chest muscles, or pectorals
  • shoulders, or deltoids
  • back of your arms, or triceps
  • abdominals
  • the ‘wing’ muscles directly under your armpit, called the serratus anterior

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