Кві 12

Three-point Push-ups


As you can see in the title, in this variation of push-ups we get one of pivot points off. Obviously, before you come to this push-ups you should perfectly master the classic push-ups, and also more difficult kinds (especially narrow push-ups and push-ups with legs raised). It is recommended to start from “switching off” one leg.
What muscles work: chest, triceps, deltoids, rectus and oblique abdominals.
Performing the exercise: stand in the emphasis lying, like in classic push-ups. Move your weight to one leg, putting it on one axis with body center and put the another leg over it (photo 1). On inhale do the full push-up, hold on for a second in lower point (photo 2), and on exhale go back to the starting position. Having done the specified amount of reps, change the active leg and repeat.
Three-point push-ups (starting position)Three-point push-ups (final position)
Notice: watch your back, do not let it bend or stick out. Elbows should be by your body or not more than 45 degrees widen. To regulate the depth you can put a bent towel, a tennis ball, an apple or a standing matchbox under your solar plexus. While doing the exercise control the body position and speed of going down (2 seconds minimum) all the time.
If you can do at least 20 reps – try to hold the inactive leg in the air (straightened or bent in the knee).
Push-ups with one leg raised (starting position) Push-ups with one leg raised (final position)
The next stage is “dynamization”: you are not just holding your inactive leg in the air, but doing the swings, synchronous to the push-ups.
Performing the exercise: in the starting position, leaning on one leg, bend the inactive leg in knee and hip, so that it was almost by your stomach (photo 5). As you start to bend your elbows, unbend the inactive leg in hip at the same time (the knee joint is inactive). At the lower point fingers of your inactive should point upwards (photo 6). After one second pause go back to the starting position by straightening your hands and pulling your leg back to the stomach. As in previous exercise, after some amount of reps, switch the base leg and repeat the cycle (aim to equal amount of reps on each leg).
Dynamic one-leg push-ups (starting position)Dynamic one-leg push-ups (final position)
Notice: until you reach synchronous and honed moves, perform the exercise slowly. Though it is a complex-coordination move, it will be difficult to watch all the things. Increased attention to your back: do not bend when you pull the leg (at the top point) and do not loose, when straightening it (at the lower point). Try to “catch the rhythm” – this will make it much easier.
And of course, how can one talk about three-point push-ups and say nothing about one-arm push-ups. Unfortunately, most of those who say that they can do one-arm push-ups – do it with extremely bad technique: widely spread legs, sticking up pelvis, twisted spine. In fact, the real professional of one-arm push-ups is the one, who does it with perfect technique. Only correctly done exercise will be the indicator of true force. I will not give the description of one-arm push-ups here specifically for you, to hone your mastery in all the exercises described above. Believe me, if you can do 20 narrow push-ups – the way to one-arm push-ups is opened. You also should master side-moved push-ups, that require not only strong muscles, but well-developed balance sense. I’ll tell you more: one-arm push-ups is not the edge. There is also “the lizard push-ups”, when the push-ups are done only on two points – one arm and one leg. But do not run far forward, because the one of the main training principles – to gradually increase the loads. If you can easily do 20 reps of every kind of the push-ups, described above – write us with “Contacts”, and in shortest time we will post the article, devoted to the one-arm push-ups. But if you are reading this article just for interest – stop postponing your trainings for tomorrow, choose your level and start to do push-ups right today. Yes-yes, right now, stand up of the table (or put your tablet aside) and do 10 push-ups. Have a good training!


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Кві 12

Accented push-ups


One of the ways to safely increase the load on muscles while doing push-ups is going down alternately to each hand. In this case the load is spread unevenly (about 3:1), besides, the stabilizing  core muscles are more involved.

Side-moved push-ups

Performing the exercise: stand in the emphasis lying, as for wide stance push-ups (about one third wider than in classic push-ups). Keep your legs together (photo 1). As you begin to go down, bend one arm more, so that in lower point your chest was at your thumbs level. Other arm in this case will bend only to 90 degrees (photo 2). Go back to the starting position, then repeat on the other arm.
Side-moved push-ups (starting position)Side-moved push-ups (final position)
Notice: always control the position of your body, do not let your backbone twist or bend. Watch the right breathe (going down – inhale, going up – exhale) and do not try to raise the tempo by screwing the technique.

Triangle Push-ups (Bent Push-up)

As in push-ups with legs raised, this kind of push-ups transfers the main load on shoulders. It may appear that bending your body in the starting position will make it easier, but it is not right – try to do it right and make sure.
What muscles work: deltoids, chest, triceps, trapezius muscle.
Performing the exercise: lean on your hands, as in usual push-ups, but put your legs a little bit wider in position, so that your body makes a triangle with the floor with top angle about 90 degrees (photo 3). Keeping this position, bend your elbows until you touch the floor with forehead (photo 4), after this wait for a second and go back to the starting position.
Triangle Push-ups (starting position) Triangle Push-ups (final position)
Notice: try to keep the constant body angle during the whole exercise. Do not throw your head back – keep its natural position. You can bend your legs in knees a little. If you start to swing during the exercise, bound with your legs to a wall or some other static object. After you master this kind of push-ups, as described, you can move on to its harder variations, by putting your legs or arms to some pillars. Or start to master other power push-ups variations, for example – three-point push-ups.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Кві 12

Push-ups with pillars


If you decided to include variations of push-ups, described below, to your training program, you must have enough strength level of main working muscles and master the required technique, doing classic floor push-ups with different hands stand at least 20 times. There is nowhere to hurry, but if you have reached the required training level – I propose to move on to push-ups with arms and legs pillar.

Push-ups with arms pillar

To perform this variation of push-ups you will need some pillars for hands. It is not necessary to buy widely advertised push-up stands, you can use any similar 7 to 10 cm high objects (bent towel, book or brick). You can do push-ups between two chairs, but make sure that they will not slipper to different sides while you doing the exercise. In the last resort – try to do push-ups on your knuckles, instead of palms: this will give you necessary centimeters of depth to go down.
Performing the exercise: stand in the emphasis lying with your hands on pillars a little wider than shoulder-width (in the lower point your pre-shoulders should be perpendicular to the floor). Keep your legs together (photo 1). On inhale start to bend your arms in elbows, going down till your chest provisionally touches the top of pillars. Hold on for a second, feel the stretching load on chest and go back to the starting position (photo 2).
Push-ups with pillars (starting position)Push-ups with pillars (final position)
Notice: do not try to go down maximum deep (especially when doing push-ups on chairs) – instead of better work out you get microfractures of muscles. Yes, on the next day your chest will “burn”, but it will not be caused by started process of growth, but by the microinjuries that you got. The depth should be a couple centimeters bigger than classic push-ups. Do not forget to hold the whole body straight by tensing the back muscles and abdominals.

Push-ups with legs raised

To regulate the load on different muscles you can change not only position of hands but the tilt angle of your body. Remember the beginners push-up complex, we made it easier by doing push-ups in position when arms were way above the legs. To increase the load we should do other way round – gradually raise legs, using pillars of different heights. The higher the pillar – the more accent is moved to the shoulders. However, the risk of getting an injury also rises, so for the first times try to choose the height of pillar so that in top position your body was almost horizontal.
Performing the exercise: stand in the emphasis lying with your legs on a 50-60 cm pillar (photo 1). Bending your arms in elbows, on inhale go down until your nose touches the floor (photo 2).
Push-ups with legs raised (starting position) Push-ups with legs raised (final position)
Notice: when the body is horizontal your back gets additional load, so don’t let it bend. You may even stick up your pelvis a little (!) to move some part of the load to abdominals. After you can do 20 reps – complicate the exercise by putting your hands on pillars (like in push-ups on stands) or putting legs on an unstable pillar (like fitball). Do not try to eventually rise the height of leg pillar – the danger of getting an injury will be way higher than the possible training effect.
Having mastered those kinds of push-ups, you can differ your training process by including accented push-ups or three-point push-ups to your program.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Кві 12

Wide and narrow push-ups


Those who has mastered classic push-ups (can do more than 20 push-ups with perfect technique and rhythm), should gradually move to more difficult variations. One of the most simple and famous ways to regulate the load on different muscle groups is to change arms position.

Push-ups with Wide Hand Stance (Wide Push-ups)

What muscles work: chest, rear deltoids, triceps, trapezius muscle, rectus abdominis muscle. Wide hand stance gives an ability to work better on chest muscles, putting some part of the load off the arms and back.
Performing the exercise: stand in the emphasis lying on palms and feet fingertips. Put your hands so wide that in lower point your pre-shoulders would be perpendicular to the floor (approximately one third wider than with classic push-ups). For comfort you can also move hands a little forward. Keep legs together (photo 1). On inhale, by bending your hands in elbows go down until the angle of elbows is 90 degrees (photo 2), on exhale go back to starting position.
Wide Push-ups (starting position)Wide Push-ups (final position)
Notice: lower your body evenly, do not try to lighten the exercise by bending your back to touch the floor with your head. Do not put your hands too wide (not more than 45 degrees relative to body). Do not try to lower maximum low, it should still be 5 cm minimum to the floor (to control the depth you can use the standing matchbox). Perform the exercise with the tempo: 2-1-1-2 (two seconds to go down, one second bottom pause, one second to straighten arms and two seconds upper pause).

Push-ups with Narrow Hand Stance (Narrow Push-ups)

For those who has mastered classic full push-ups, push-ups with wide hand stance were certainly not difficult. This is not a surprise – the chest muscles (which get the main load in this exercise) of most of people are stronger than arms. Push-ups with narrow hand stance require more triceps strength.
Performing the exercise: stand in the emphasis lying, as in classic push-ups, but put your hands way more narrow and turn inside a little, so that your index fingers and thumbs of both hands may touch (photo 3). Try to keep legs together, but if it is hard to keep balance you can put them a little wider. Gradually bending your arms in elbows and wrists go down until you touch your hands (photo 4). Hold one second pause and then go back to the starting position.
Narrow Push-ups (starting position) Narrow Push-ups (final position)
Narrow push-ups (hands position)Notice: as your palms are in their natural position you can go as deep as you can. Doing this do not try to press elbows to your body – just keep the starting angle, defined by palms position. Do not forget to breathe right: as you go down – inhale, as you go up – exhale. If the exercise is difficult – you can put your hands wider, but remember – you should aim to connect your fingers (photo 5). This is exactly the kind of push-ups that is called “diamond” ones (by the form of the figure between connected fingers), they not only train your triceps, but strengthen tendons of elbows and wrists, that are extremely necessary for your hands strength and health.
Having mastered push-ups from this article (doing any of them al least 20 times with correct technique), you can include more complicated push-ups to your training program, like arms and legs pillar push-ups.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Кві 12

Push-ups for beginners


If you had just started to train at home or you are regenerating after an injury and it is still difficult for you to do the classic push-ups, try to start from light variations of those. They will not only prepare your muscle system for loads, but give you the confidence about your abilities, giving you the starting impulse which will support your desire to train, when you come to more difficult variations of push-ups.

Angled push-ups

The main idea of this kind of push-ups is a gradual movement from almost vertical body position (for example, when you lean on a wall) to a level, that is needed to do the classic push-ups.
What muscles work: chest, triceps, front deltoids, trapezius muscle, rectus abdominis muscle.
Performing the exercise: stand in front of the wall on a distance more than your arms length. Put your feet together and lean on the wall with your palms shoulder-width, at the chests level (photo 1). On inhale start to bend your arms in elbows (photo 2), until you touch the wall with your forehead, then go back to the starting position (on exhale).
Angled push-ups (starting position) Angled push-ups (final position)
If you can do more than 20 reps easily, you should gradually increase the load by increasing the body angle. To do this you will need a table or some other strong pillar, with height about on your hips level (in the lower point of the exercise your body should be at approximately 45 degrees to the floor).
Performing the exercise: grab the edge of the table shoulder-width (do not put your hands on a table top, they may slipper) and stand on a distance, so in the lower position you will touch the table with your chest on solar plexus level (photo 3). Slowly bend your arms in elbows (photo 4) – remember, we are only preparing to the loads, so don’t hurry. Stay in lower position for 1-2 seconds then go back to the starting position.
Angled push-ups (complicated variation, starting position)Angled push-ups (complicated variation, final position)
Notice: though for most of people, even unprepared, this kind of exercise may look quite easy, do not ignore it. Hone the technique, learn to hold your body straight using your back, abdominals and buttocks. Do not forget to breathe right (inhale – bend, exhale – straighten).

Knee push-ups

This kind of push-ups is maximum close to classic exercise, but a little easier to perform, because bending your legs muscles of arms and chest get three times less load.
Performing the exercise: stand in the emphasis lying on your palms and knees. Put your hands a little wider than the shoulder-width, keep legs together (you can cross them for comfort). Using body muscles hold your body straight (photo 5). Bending your arms in elbows, on inhale go down till your nose touches the floor (photo 6) and on exhale go back to the starting position. If performing the exercise with full amplitude is still difficult for you – increase depth gradually. You can use soft objects, like ball or bent towel for this, and go down only till you touch it.
Knee push-ups (starting position) Knee push-ups (final position)
Notice: do not put elbows too wide, better keep them by your body. The tempo is: 2-1-1-2 (two seconds to go down, one second pause at the bottom, one second to straighten arms and two seconds to prepare to the next rep).
If performing those (lightened) kinds of push-ups is not difficult for you anymore, and you can perform any of them 20 times with correct technique – move on to classic push-ups.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

Кві 12

Floor Push-ups


If you come to any gym and ask what is the best exercise for chest – they will first of all name the bench press. Saying this they forget that this exercise is not only dangerous (it is not only about damaged shoulders and elbows, you may just drop the barbell on your chest or neck), but needs a plenty of inventory.
A barbell with a set of weights, a stable bench with adjustable angle, a squatting stand (power rack would be better). And then you face the choice without a choice: either buy a gym membership (why not – read the article “Why Not Gym”), or spend a bunch of money and time to install all necessary equipment at home (where is the guarantee that in one month, when the starting torch is faded away a bit, all this would not turn into another expensive coat rack, like dusting velosimulator. To tell you the truth, there is another option, for some reason (I think you know what it is) it is ignored by most of three-month (exactly that long educated) instructors. Push-ups. An exercise that not only works on all the chest muscles, but has a plenty of advantages:

  • You don’t need all that bunch of metal that is mentioned above;
  • You can easily regulate the load by just changing the position of arms or the body angle, without wasting time to change weights or find free training tool;
  • Some kinds of push-ups give an ability to sequence the load on each hand (if you try to do this with a barbell, you’ll become a client of the nearest hospital);
  • With less time you work at more muscles, because besides of dynamic load on chest and shoulders you also get an additional static load on body muscles and even legs (for good reason push-ups are called the basic exercise);
  • Depending on amount of reps and variation of exercise you can use in to train stamina, as well as strength training.

Although, this is not the full list, this is enough for push-ups (as well as squats) to become one of the main exercises of your home training. I am not forcing you to trust me – try and ensure (like thousands of people, that believe in training with their own bodyweight).

Floor Push-ups

What muscles work: chest, triceps, front deltoids, trapezius muscle, rectus abdominis.
Performing the exercise: stand in emphasis lying on your palms and feet fingertips. Put your hands a little wider than the shoulder width, keep legs together. By the tension of abdominals and buttocks hold all the body from head to heels at one level (photo 1). By bending your arms in elbows on inhale go down to the certain depth (photo 2) and after one second pause go back (on exhale) to the starting position.
Push-ups (starting position) Push-ups (final position)
Notice: watch your back, do not let it bend or stick out. Elbows should be by your body or not more than 45 degrees widen. To regulate the depth you can put a tennis ball, apple or bended towel under your solar plexus, and go down till touch. Perform the exercise with the tempo: 2-1-1-2 (two seconds to go down, one second pause at the bottom, one second to straighten arms and two seconds to prepare to the next rep).
Variations of push-ups: if classic push-ups are difficult for you yet, you should start from easier variations – angled push-ups and knee push-ups. You can read about those in “Push-ups for Beginners”.
If you can easily do more than 20 reps of classic push-ups with required technique, for full load you should look at power push-ups like: push-ups with wide and narrow hand stance (wide and narrow push-ups), push-ups on pillars, аccented push-ups and three-point push-ups.


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.


Other articles about push-ups:

Push-ups for beginners: angled push-ups (on a wall or a chair), knee push-ups.
Push-ups with different hand positions: wide (hands are one third wider than in classic push-ups) and narrow (fingers touch, “diamond” push-ups).
Pillar push-ups and with legs raised.
Accented push-ups: side-moved (accented on one arm) and with pelvis raised (“triangle push-ups”).
Three-point push-ups: different kinds of one-leg push-ups and also an answer, why there is no one-arm push-ups description.