3 Push up variations to target many parts of the chest (outer, inner, middle and upper). A push up done right is a high level exercise!
Push ups are often undervalued because they are thought as a basic exercise for beginners. This could be further from the truth.
The reality is that there is no real progression from beginner to advanced. Just because you can do an advanced exercise doesn't mean "the beginner exercise" is no longer effective.
Moreover, working on the basics will often produce much better results than the harder exercises no matter how advanced you are. Strength development and skill development aren't necessarily the same thing.
How can this be possible? In the basics there are always areas to improve, muscles to target and forms to improve. A little change in the form can turn the basic exercise into a killer exercise.
Even in martial arts the best martial artist is not the guy who can do 100 flashy kicks. The best martial artist is the one who has mastered the basic kicks and punches and taken them to the highest level.
The same is true for push ups or any other basic exercise. It's not about the repetitions, weight or the difficulty, but about the quality and focus of your training.
For this reason, although our Movement 20XX program has plenty of skills to master, the strength & mobility workouts are all about mastering the basics.
In this article we have taken basic push ups and turned them into superb chest exercises. Typically a push up will develop the chest, shoulders and triceps, but here we are solely focusing on the chest.
The common mistakes in the push up form include:
In these exercises the most important thing is to pull your shoulder blades slightly behind (scapula retraction) and keep the scapula stable and down (depression).
In order to target the chest muscles, the scapula retraction and stability are needed because otherwise it's easy to utilize the scapula movement and anterior deltoids to generate force.
In the beginning, just focus on incline push ups against a bench or a chair. You will very likely notice that you aren't as strong as you thought you were.
How much? You can have these push ups as a part of your upper body workout. Do 3 sets per exercise and forget about the repetitions: do as many high quality repetitions as you can. Once the form starts to break, it's time to rest.