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How To Push Beyond Your Limits
How To Push Beyond Your Limits

Build bigger pecs, delts, and triceps with these unique variations of a classic military move.

Joe Wuebben

Stuck at home or in a hotel room with no equipment, and it’s chest day? Dammit. There’s only one body-weight exercise you can think of for hitting pecs—pushups—and those get old after a while.

But hang on a minute. There are actually a multitude of pushup variations that hit the chest (as well as the triceps and delts) in subtly different ways. Perform them correctly, and they will keep your bodyweight-pushing workouts from getting stale, which will in turn help you pack on more muscle and develop more strength. Six such variants are detailed on the following pages, courtesy of body-weight training expert Andy McDermott, owner of McDermott Family Fitness (mcdermottfamilyfitness.com). Read up on them, then give them a try in our pushups-only workout.

1 FEET-ELEVATED PUSHUP

MCDER MOTT SAYS: “This is a simple way to introduce variety and increase load on the upperbody pushers, because more of your body weight is lifted.”

EXECUTION: Place your feet up on a bench or box behind you in a pushup position, with your hands directly below your shoulders. Bend your elbows to lower yourself to the floor, keeping your core tight throughout so that your hips don’t sag. Don’t let your elbows point out to the sides; keep your forearms at 45 degrees or less to your torso. Go down until your face or forehead nearly touches the floor, then press back up.

WHEN TO DO IT: Anytime you want to put more focus on your upper pecs. If this area is a weakness for you, do feet-elevated pushups before standard ones.

2 FOREARM PUSHUP

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January 2019