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Workout 43: Chest

1. Stop-and-Release Push Up
  1. Starting out in a regular push-up position, hands slightly more than shoulder-width. 
  2. Engage your core and lower the body all the way to the ground in a slow, controlled movement.
  3. With your chest on the ground, lift your hands off the ground, squeezing shoulders together.
  4. Place your palms back onto the ground and complete the push up. This is one rep.
2. In-and-Out Push-Up

 

  1. Starting out in a regular push-up position, lower the body until the elbows are bent 90° and chest is one to two inches from the ground.
  2. Exhale, pressing up explosively so that the hands leave the ground. While in the air, bring the hands slightly in and back landing in close-grip push-up position, lowering down smoothly.
  3. Exhale, pressing up explosively so that the hands leave the ground again and widening the grip again to go back into a regular push-up.

3. Cross-Over-Box Push Up
  1. Using a sturdy box or other object, get into push up position with one hand on the box and the other hand on the floor. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower yourself down as you would a typical push up, focusing on putting more of a bend in the elbow of the arm on the box than your floor-arm. The goal is to keep your chest as close to parallel with the ground as you can.
  3. Push yourself back up, place the floor-hand on the box and move the box-hand onto the floor. Once both arms have performed the push up, you’ve completed one rep. 

4. Decline Push Up
  1. Begin on hands and knees, hands on the ground at shoulder-width or slightly wider (you won’t want to go wider than this or your range of motion will be severely limited).
  2. Lift one leg and position it atop a sturdy piece of furniture (bench, ottoman, etc.). Do this for the other leg. Ensure that your body is in a straight line before continuing. Pay attention to hips and buttocks and ensure that they aren’t caving or arching. Double check hand placement and ensure that arms are extended.
  3. Bend at the elbow and allow your chest to lower. You’ll find yourself looking upward slightly. This is normal, just ensure that you don’t try to compensate the movement with your back or buttocks.
  4. Push yourself back to the starting position, being careful not to lock your elbows. This is one rep.
5. Decline Prayers
  1. Stand upright with your knees slightly bent.
  2. Place your hands together in a praying position in front of your chest. Your elbows should be pointing out to your sides and your fingers pointing ahead of you while pushing tightly against each other.
  3. Slowly move your hands outward away from your body so that your arms fully extend, town toward your hips and away from your chest, while your hands are still positioned together and pushing tightly against each other.
  4. To feel this movement to its highest extent, you want to be pushing your hands together as tightly as you possible. You can try putting a weighted plate between your hands to increase the difficulty. 
  5. Bring your wrists back in toward your chest.
6. Wide-Stance Push Up
  1. Begin in plank position, hands more than shoulder-width apart. For variation, you can point fingers straight ahead or turned a bit to the outside.
  2. Bend your elbows slowly as you lower your body toward the floor.
  3. When your chest reaches just below your elbows, pause for a count of two.
  4. Contract your core muscles, press your hands into the ground, and lift your body back to start.

Note: This can be performed on the knees instead of toes.

7. Narrow-Stance Push Up
  1. Begin in plank position, hands a few inches apart from each other. The closer they are to each other, the more difficult this exercise will be. 
  2. Bend your elbows slowly as you lower your body toward the floor.
  3. When your chest reaches just below your elbows, pause for a count of two.
  4. Contract your core muscles, press your hands into the ground, and lift your body back to start.

Note: This can be performed on the knees instead of toes.