The lowly push up has gotten some new bells and whistles. Build up your chest with these fancy moves that use the humble push up to help you build a better chest.
Band-assisted push up
Coach Mike Samuels says you should do it this way:
Hold one end of the band in each hand and loop it over your upper back. Once comfortably in position perform your push-ups as you would usually. Band-assisted push-ups have the added benefit of increasing the load at the top as the band tightens. The bonus is better triceps activation. Plus, the band tension as you descend forces you to control the negative portion of each rep.
Drop push ups
Begin by placing two weight benches or boxes about two feet apart from each other. Next, get into a push up position with your feet extended behind you. Place your hands on the boxes. Drop from the benches by pushing up off of them with your hands with as much force as possible. Land on the ground and allow your hands to absorb the impact. Push yourself back up and extend your arms back onto the benches. Repeat for desired number of reps.
Begin by lying on your stomach with hands under your shoulders. Move your body up and off the floor with arms extended and your body straight. Get your spotter to place weight plate(s) on your back. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself to the floor by bending your arms. Now push yourself up until your arms are fully extended. Repeat for desired number of reps.
According to Alex Savva, founder of CircuitFit, kettlebells are harder to grip than dumbbells, which makes you work harder for each rep. The extra work means your pecs will recruit more muscle fibers to fight the weight hanging below your palms. Savva recommends starting with kettlebells that are 10 pounds lighter than the dumbbells you typically lift. Here are his instructions for the kettlebell flye:
Hold the kettlebells over your chest with palms facing each other. Using a wide arc from the shoulders, lower your arms with elbows slightly bent until you feel a good stretch across the chest. Pause and contract your pecs against the extra resistance that the kettlebells provide at the bottom range. Squeeze your pecs as you bring your arms back up in a wide hugging motion. Keep your shoulders back and squeeze your pecs together at the top of the motion.
These four exercises are a good way to build chest gains. Practice for about six weeks and you are sure to notice a difference in size as well as strength.