5 Alternatives to Pushups That Work the Same Muscles – Healthline

Pushups are a classic upper body exercise that helps to improve balance, stability, and posture. However, for various reasons, they may not be the best choice for your individual needs.
Doing pushups with incorrect form or without the proper strength can lead to pain or injury. That’s why it’s important to build up your power and stability before you try them. You can do this by working on pushup alternatives and variations.
Whether you want to change up your existing routine, heal from an injury, or find a less challenging option, there are plenty of simple and effective ways to target some of the same muscles.
Here are five pushup alternatives that provide many of the same benefits as regular pushups, while helping you to stay safe and avoid injury.
Regular pushups target the following muscles:
Pushup alternatives are an excellent option if you’re new to pushups or fitness since they’ll teach you proper muscle activation. They’re also a great way to change up your regular pushup routine, which will allow you to work your body in a slightly different way.
You can also do these alternatives if you have any injuries or weaknesses, especially in your shoulders, back, or wrists.
This exercise builds strength in your shoulders, upper back, and core. High plank also strengthens your wrists and promotes good posture. It improves your balance, stability, and alignment, which will prime your body for movement when you move on to pushups.
If you want variety or a challenge, there are plenty of plank variations to try.
To put less pressure on your wrists, position them slightly wider than your shoulders and turn your fingers out to the side slightly. Press evenly into the pads of your fingers. Or you can make fists with your hands or balance on your forearms.
The muscles targeted by the high plank include:
The side plank exercise improves endurance, increases stability, and promotes good posture. It allows you to train each side of your body individually, which can help with alignment.
Here’s how to do a side plank.
To make this exercise easier, place your bottom knee on the floor for support. For a challenge, raise your top leg or lower your hips to the floor a few times.
The muscles worked for a side plank include:
This exercise helps to build muscular endurance, correct muscle imbalances, and improve movement patterns while putting less stress on your wrists. You do it in a supported position, which helps to improve shoulder, core, and hip stability.
Here’s how to do this exercise:
The muscles worked for this exercise include:
This exercise helps to improve balance, agility, and cardiovascular endurance while toning your shoulders, arms, and torso. It’s an excellent option if you have wrist concerns or can only do one side of your body. To make it easier while perfecting your form, you can do this exercise without weights.
Here’s how to do this exercise:
The muscles worked for standing dumbbell rotational punches include:
This classic exercise builds upper body and pressing strength while putting less strain on your wrists. It also helps to improve muscular endurance. The supported position of your body allows you to focus on your form.
Here’s how to do this exercise:
The muscles worked for a bench press include:
Depending on your current fitness level as well as the duration and intensity of your strength training routine, it may take a few weeks or months to build up to doing full pushups.
Or you may decide not to do them at all.
Either way, make sure you’re doing the alternative exercises safely and taking plenty of time to rest.
As you progress, find ways to vary your routine. This provides you with a challenge and trains you to use your body in different ways. It also helps to prevent boredom and plateauing.
Most of all, have fun with your practice and enjoy the process.
Last medically reviewed on September 25, 2020
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