Whether you are dressing for success in a tailored suit and tie or to score in fitted t-shirt for a night out on a town, nothing makes a statement like broad shoulders and a strong chest. But let's face it most guys don't have the time to spend hours in a gym to build the chest of a fitness model. The trick is to chisel that chest with a total upper body exercise you can do anywhere and anytime. All you need is an open floor space and a whole lot of dedication.
Pushups are called the perfect upper body workout because they target a variety of muscles including the pectorals, triceps, shoulders and even parts of the back. If done with proper form they also work your core muscles (that means your abs get something out of them too).
To do a standard pushup you need to assume the position… Lay face down on the floor with your legs straight and your hands directly under your shoulders. Your fingers need to be pointed straight ahead. The most important thing you can do at this point is make sure you keep your back straight and your head in alignment with your spine. This will force you to work your core muscles and also prevent you from straining your back. Lift your body from the floor so that your arms are fully extended (without locking your elbows). This is the starting position for your pushups.
Lower yourself to the floor until your nose nearly touches the floor. Hold this position and then push yourself up and return to the starting position. When you are back in the starting position try not to lock your elbows so that you maintain the tension on your muscles and work them harder. Beginners - start out doing three sets of 10-15 pushups, but as they become easier you should increase the number you are doing.
Once you have mastered a standard pushup you can also modify the pushup to increase difficulty and to target different areas of your chest to meet your own personal goals. To target the middle of your chest and better define the "centerline" try doing close-grip pushups. Start by bringing your hands together with your fingertips and thumbs touching to form a triangle. As you do pushups in this position your elbows will push out to the sides as you go down. This is a much more intense exercise for your triceps and will require more balance which will in turn work your core muscles harder.
Wide-grip pushups, as you would expect have you positioning your hands wider and beyond your shoulders. While these do target your chest, especially the outer edges of the chest to make it broader, they also work the back of your shoulder muscles and some back muscles.
To further modify these pushups, you can elevate your feet by placing them in a chair while doing the standard pushups. Doing this will work the top of your chest and across your shoulders more. Similarly you can also place two chairs side by side to elevate your upper body. Doing pushups in this position will work the bottom of your pecs more.
The simple pushup is the best no-fuss way of keeping that upper body toned. With these easy tips and little time commitment on your part you will see results. Don't get lazy and when it gets easy for you to do three sets of 15, increase the number higher and higher. The results will be worth it!
Stay On Target: Alternate pushup hand positions for a big & chiseled chest.
- Perfect the standard pushup – this will increase upper body strength and mass.
- Maintain the proper body alignment, this will work your core muscles and abs
- Close grip pushups will work your inner chest and triceps
- Wide grip pushups will broaden your chest and you back and shoulder muscles
- Elevate your feet to intensify your workout and target the top of your chest
- Elevate your upper body to target the bottom of your chest
- As your strength increases, increase the number of reps and push yourself. Remember, no pain no chisel chest.
Challenge: Take a "before" picture of your upper body and put it up on the wall in your bathroom. Now take on the challenge of doing the CENTURY chest workout. Do 100 pushups every other day. You can break up the 100 pushups to as many sets as you like and do them anytime of the day. Just make sure that between the times you rise and before you begin to snooze @ night that 100 pushups was perfected in one day. Do this for 12 weeks and you will be certain to see some good results. Send us your before and after pics!
** Always consult a physician before embarking on a vigorous workout.
*** Results will vary depending on body type and diet.
**** Above workout yields best result when combine with proper diet and regular exercise routine.