How to Do Wide Pushups

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:14
If you're looking for a straightforward exercise that requires no equipment and works a range of muscle groups, try the humble pushup! A slight variation, the wide pushup, engages your chest and shoulders a bit more and is no more...
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If you’re looking for a straightforward exercise that requires no equipment and works a range of muscle groups, try the humble pushup! A slight variation, the wide pushup, engages your chest and shoulders a bit more and is no more complicated to do. Just make sure to maintain your form, go slowly, and listen to your body so you don’t hurt your shoulders.

Part 1
Part 1 of 2:

Positioning Your Body

  1. Step 1 Get down on all fours on a stable workout surface.
    For a standard wide pushup, a flat floor with a rug or yoga mat on it is ideal. Uneven ground or a rock-hard surface may be tough on your wrists and ankles.[1]
    • You can do wide pushups barefoot or in shoes or socks, depending on your preference. However, you may have trouble keeping your footing if you wear only socks on a slick workout surface.
    • To make your pushups slightly easier, pick a spot near a step or low bench that you can prop your hands up on. To make the pushups more challenging, use the step or bench to prop your feet up.
  2. Step 2 Put your palms slightly beyond shoulder-width as a novice, or a bit wider with experience.
    If you’re new to doing wide pushups, place your palms on the floor about 3–6 in (7.6–15.2 cm) wider than shoulder width. Spread your fingers and point them straight forward or slightly outward.[2]
    • Your palms should be wider than your shoulders, but still in line with them. Someone looking at you from the side should see your shoulders and palms in complete alignment.
    • Over time, you can start spreading your hands out wider. However, if you go too wide, too soon, you may strain or otherwise injure your shoulder tendons.
  3. Step 3 Lift your body so only your palms and toes are on the floor.
    Keep your palms planted in position and extend your arms fully, locking your elbows. Keep your feet and legs together, and curl your toes so that they’re the only part of your lower body touching the floor. Lock your knees so your legs are straight.[3]
    • If you're not quite ready for full-on pushups yet, put your knees (instead of your feet) on the floor to make the pushups a bit easier to do.
  4. Step 4 Create a straight line from head to toe in a “high plank” yoga pose.
    Put your neck in alignment with your spine (in other words, in a neutral position) so you’re not looking straight ahead or straight down. Engage your core and quads to keep your back from arching upward or sagging downward. Aim to create and maintain a straight line from your ankles to the top of your head.[4]
    • Yes, a good pushup starts with a basic yoga pose! Keep your core and quads engaged throughout the process to maintain a straight line from head to toe. You should “feel the burn” in your core muscles after doing a set of pushups!
  5. Step 5 Try to spread, rather than pinch, your shoulder blades during your pushups.
    It’s a bit hard to describe rather than demonstrate, but you want it to feel like your shoulder blades are spreading apart, not pinching together, throughout the pushup. Focus your attention on this area and envision your shoulder blades spreading apart.[5]
    • If your shoulder blades pinch in during wide pushups, you’ll be more susceptible to shoulder pain or injury.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 2:

Completing Your Pushups

  1. Step 1 Lower your chest almost to the floor with a smooth, steady motion.
    Breathe in deeply and go slowly—it’s not a race! Keep your neck, back, and legs aligned. Bend your elbows, letting them spread outward at somewhere between 45-degree and 90-degree angles to your body. Drop down until your chest is lower than your elbows—you can go lower if you wish, even all the way down until your chest touches the floor, but only if you don’t feel any shoulder discomfort.[6]
    • Keep reminding yourself that good pushups require smooth, steady, even movements, not fast, jerky, up-and-down motions.
    • During a classic pushup, your elbows should flare out at no more than 45-degree angles. It’s necessary to flare them out wider than this during a wide pushup, but your risk of a shoulder tendon strain increases the closer you get to 90 degrees.
    • If your upper body is stronger, these push-ups will be feel harder on your legs.[7]
    • If your legs are stronger, this workout will be harder on your upper body.[8]
  2. Step 2 Pause for a brief moment with your body in the "down" position.
    Once you stop lowering your chest downward, hold your position for just a split second. During this instant, make a quick mental check of your core muscles (making sure they’re still engaged) and your shoulder blades (confirming that they feel spread apart).[9]
    • Don’t try to bounce up and down off the floor like a jackhammer! Remember to go slow and steady.
  3. Step 3 Exhale slowly as you push yourself back up into the starting pose.
    Imagine that you’re using your palms to push the floor away from your body! Maintain your body alignment and core engagement while lifting yourself up slowly and smoothly. Keep going until your elbows lock into position.[10]
    • Don’t snap your elbows back into locked positions. Go slowly and deliberately!
    • Flex your toes up to help engage your legs. When you push up, your chest should be flexing as soon as your legs are flexing.[11]
  4. Step 4 Repeat the process until you complete your intended set.
    Pause just for an instant at the starting pose, then lower back down for another pushup. If you’re just starting out, aim to do around 8-10 repetitions (reps) in a set—but, if you can’t do that many yet, that’s okay![12]
    • Over time, aim to do around 20-30 pushup reps per set. If you can do more than 30 without losing your form, increase the difficulty by propping your feet up on a step or low bench.[13]
  5. Step 5 Complete 3-4 sets, 2-3 times per week.
    Pushups are a great workout, but don’t overdo it! After completing a set, wait 1-2 minutes, then do another, then repeat the process up to 2 more times if you wish.[14]
    • After completing your sets, wait about 48 hours before doing another pushup workout. It’s important to give your muscles time to rest and recover.
  6. Step 6 Adjust your hand width between sets to target other muscle groups.
    Wide pushups are especially great at engaging your serratus anterior muscles, which run roughly between your lower shoulder blades and lower pectorals. If you slide your hands inward and do narrow pushups for your next set, your triceps will be particularly targeted. If you set your hands at shoulder width for standard pushups, your pecs will get an exceptionally good workout.[15]
    • No matter how you position your hands, though, pushups work a lot of muscle groups. Wide, narrow, and normal pushups all engage the following muscles: deltoideus p. acromialis, pectoralis minor, pectoralis major, serratus anterior, biceps brachii, triceps brachii, latissimus dorsi, and infraspinatus.
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  • Listen to your body! While wide pushups are a great workout, they create added strain on your shoulders, in comparison to classic pushups. If you feel shoulder pain, take a break and try switching to standard pushups for next time.
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