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Add New Challenges To Your Push-Ups With The Help Of A Personal Trainer

by Amanda Phillips

If you visit the gym regularly to keep in shape, you may turn to weight training to hit your goals. You don't always need to actually lift weights; your own body's weight can serve as a valuable source of resistance in a number of different exercises. One such exercise is the push-up — a relatively simple exercise that helps to strengthen your chest, shoulders, arms, and back. You may reach a point at which this exercise isn't quite giving you the challenge you need, which is an accomplishment in itself. An effective next step to take is to hire a personal trainer who can introduce you to a variety of push-up variations that will quickly have you feeling challenged again. Here are some examples.

Decline Variation

Push-ups are traditionally performed on flat ground; if you add a weight bench to the equation, the exercise immediately gets more challenging. Your personal trainer will start your foray into decline push-ups with a short weight bench. You simply place your toes on the bench and your hands on the floor, and then perform the exercise. Your trainer will suggest a specific number of reps and sets based on your fitness level and the speed at which you get familiar with this exercise. As you get accustomed to decline push-ups, the trainer will begin to use taller benches to increase the challenge.

Weighted Variation

Increasing the weight that you have to lift each time you perform a push-up quickly makes the exercise more challenging, so your personal trainer will introduce various additional forms of resistance. A simple variation of a weighted push-up involves the trainer kneeling beside you. He or she will put his or her hands on your back and push gently while you perform the exercise. A different approach is to give you a weighted vest that you wear on your torso while performing your push-ups.

Lifted Hands Variation

If you really want a challenge, different variations that have you lifting one or both of your hands as you move into the exercise's upper position will more than satisfy. There are a couple variations of this exercise that your trainer will teach you. One variation is to touch your shoulder with one hand as you push off the ground. For example, as you move upward, you lift your left hand off the ground, quickly touch your left shoulder, and then move the hand back into position. Then, you repeat the exercise with your right hand. Clap push-ups involve taking both hands off the ground concurrently and clapping them together in front of your face.

For more tips, contact a gym like South Beach Boxing.