Blog / Four Push-Up Variations To Build Chest Muscle Without Liftin
Saturday, 24 March 2012 at 21:47
In muscle building programs, such as No Nonsense Muscle Building and Muscle Maximizer, there is often a focus on lifting weights in order to build muscle mass.
However, many of these muscle building workouts fail to make use of traditional bodyweight exercises for the purposes of muscle growth. Whilst such exercises may not result in significant muscle gain, they still contribute to all round health and strength when used as part of a well rounded routine.
Four bodyweight exercises are outlined in this article. These exercises are designed to work the chest muscles for enhanced strength, endurance and tone.
Push-ups. Push-ups work many muscle groups at the same time, including the chest, triceps, back, abs, biceps and shoulders. It is an effective all round exercise and simultaneously works multiple muscle for a great all body workout. It is important to keep your back straight throughout the exercise and concentrate on slowly going through the movement, working all muscle groups. For best results, do these exercises slowly and steadily increase the repetitions that you do on a weekly basis. A great way to spice up a push-up is to put weights on your back. Find a back-pack and fill it up with books to add resistance to the exercise to help stimulate extra muscle growth.
Hand-stand push ups. Where as the flat push-up tends to focus more on the chest muscles, the handstand push-up has more of a focus on the shoulder muscles. To carry out this exercise, perform a handstand against a wall and support yourself by leaning your legs up against the wall. Look forward as you slowly lower your chin a few inches towards the ground, pause, and return to the starting position. This is a very small movement but suprisingly hard to do. Some people will even struggle to do just one rep of this exercise, and if this is the case then you can just hold the handstand in place for a static hold and over a number of days work yourself up to being able to do a few reps.
Plyometric push-ups. To do a plyometric push-up simply do a normal push-up, but when you come back up you use extra explosive strength to vault yourself off the floor. So you are still in the push-up position - just in the air! The most advanced version of the pylometric push-up involves performing a clap mid-air. But simplified versions can include only raising the hands off the ground and not the feet.
Isometric push-ups. An isometric push-up is where you statically hold the push-up position for around 30 seconds. So get into the push-up position and lower yourself halfway. Then hold this position for 30 seconds. It is almost like a stretch, but is called an isometric hold.
If you perform these bodyweight exercises for the chest on a daily basis, then you are likely to see rapid improvements in muscular strength and stamina. Whilst the exercises may not build bulky muscles, the extra strength that the muscles gain will indirectly lead to larger muscles due to the increased load that the body can now support when lifting weights.
For more information on using exercises such as push-ups to build muscle, the No Nonsense Muscle Building guide by Vince Delmonte contains more detailed information, including example workouts and meal plans.