The Best Variants of Push-ups to Strengthen the Pecs
In this article, we will precisely explain why and what variants of push-ups are among the best exercises for strengthening your arms and pecs. We will also give you some advice to vary the pleasures during your training.
If you do these exercises seriously, for three weekly sessions, you should see good results after 5 to 6 weeks. Simple in appearance, this exercise has the advantage of being able to be performed without equipment and of being available in multiple variants.
Is it useful to do push-ups every day?
As with crunches for abs, some (many) men are particularly proud to announce that they do 100 push-ups a day without shaking. Admittedly, this seems to testify to good resistance to effort and an already well-developed musculature. But do we really have to go that far? And first, what are the real benefits of push-ups?
Because yes, gentlemen, let’s be clear: push-ups are a real healthy exercise. It is however a rather unknown aspect of this bodybuilding exercise, in any case largely ignored. We often think that we are going to hit our organism by the violence of the imposed effort. In fact, we are doing him a favor!
Keep in mind that it is the musculature that supports the skeleton and not the other way around. This means that one of the objectives of bodybuilding is to relieve and prevent the various traumas inflicted on your muscular architecture. The Abdo-lumbar belt fits perfectly into this framework. It covers a crucial area for the body: the entire base of the bust. This has a great influence on your skeleton in the back.
A reinforced abdo-lumbar belt is a guarantee of better support for the spine. It is first of all to relieve your intervertebral discs, responsible for many back pains. It is also to prevent its long-term erosion. It’s not for nothing that bodybuilding is often recommended for people with back problems! And when you know that, according to the WHO, back pain is the most common ailment in the world…
Finally, be aware that push-ups allow you to work very deep muscles. This allows you to have a direct impact on the so-called “postural” muscles, those that shape your male figure, your posture, and therefore your presence. This is not negligible in a world, particularly professional, guided by the diktat of appearance.
5 Variants to Build Muscle by Doing push-ups
Push-ups are a harder exercise than it look, so you might as well get it right the first time. This will prevent you from adopting bad habits, potentially traumatic for your body, and obtain much faster results. Nothing is more discouraging than giving your all during an intense effort… in vain.
But before getting to the heart of the matter, it seems important to us to give you some instructions:
- If you are new to bodybuilding, it is advisable to start push-ups on your knees. The exercise will be less difficult.
- Be careful not to arch your back! To avoid this, sheath your abdominals to the maximum in order to maintain good support.
- Pay attention to your breathing: inhale during the descent and exhale when you come back up to the starting position.
1. Classic Push-ups
This basic version of the push-ups allows you to work for the middle muscle bundle, that is to say, the central part of the pectorals.
Starting position: knees on the ground, feet up, the distance between the hands is greater than shoulder-width (if you are using a floor mat, put your hands on the two ends of the mat to have the right position ). The shoulders are set back. Round your back and tighten your abs as much as possible to maintain good support.
For non-beginners: the exercise is done on tiptoes, legs slightly bent and abs under tension.
Lower your chest, inhaling, until you touch the ground with your head. Remember to keep your abs tight. Return to the starting position while exhaling. Do 4-5 sets of 10 reps or 20 when you feel more comfortable. Recover for 1 minute 30 between each series.
2. Side-to-side push-ups
This variant allows you to build muscle on the outside of the pectorals.
Starting position: On the floor, on tiptoes. The arms are well apart (with a floor mat, take the edges of the mat as a reference, the hands are placed a few centimeters from the edges). For safety, the arms are never outstretched.
Exercise: Lower your chest while inhaling, abs are still contracted. In the beginning, go down to 90° of the elbow. Return to the starting position while exhaling. Do 4 to 5 sets of 10 reps. Recover for 1 minute 30 between each series.
This variant of push-ups allows you to work the upper muscle bundle but also the triceps.
Starting position: On the floor, on tiptoes. The arms are brought close to the body. The thumbs are apart and touching.
Exercise: Come down while inhaling. Come up as you exhale. The abs are always contracted. Do 4 to 5 sets of 10 reps. Recover for 1 minute 30 between each series.
4. Incline push-ups
Here, you must do the exercise with your feet elevated, resting on a stable support. With this exercise, you will work for the upper muscle bundle, that is to say, the upper part of the pecs.
Starting position: The feet are placed on a chair. Hands flat on the ground and fingers wide apart for more stability.
Exercise: Lower until your forehead touches the ground while inhaling. Come up as you exhale. The abs are always contracted. Do 4 to 5 sets of 10 repetitions. Recover for 1 minute 30 between each series.
5. Decline arm push-ups
Unlike the previous variant, push-ups with declined (or raised) arms make it possible to work the Abdo-lumbar belt, the pectorals, and triceps. You need to find support in height. Anything can do, as long as stability is guaranteed: a chair, a low wall, a coffee table…
Starting position: Tiptoes on the ground, hands resting on two chairs. The spacing of the arms is a little wider than the shoulders.
Exercise: Come down while inhaling. Come up as you exhale. The abs are contracted to support the back. Do 4 to 5 sets of 10 repetitions. Recover for 1 minute 30 between each series.
We can still consider other variants for doing push-ups, for example by leaning (with your hands or feet) on an unstable object like a ball, or by working on your explosiveness with slammed push-ups (even if their effectiveness is often less real than fantasized). And you, what is your favorite variant to strengthen your arms and pecs?