Few exercises are more efficient for building upper body strength than the classic push-up. But with many new, more elaborate exercises available, many people are deciding to push away this simple but powerful gym class exercise.
If you’re in that camp, you may want to reconsider. Andrew Demetre, Charleston-based strength coach, is here to set the record straight and tell you why push-ups are back on the menu – just maybe not exactly how you remember them.
The Push-Up’s Secret Weapon: Variety
Understandably, you may feel a little underwhelmed with your results if you stick with the traditional push-up. They’re certainly effective at growing strength and endurance, but they cap out at a certain point, which is why they often fall by the wayside.
When you reach this level, that’s the time you’ll want to incorporate complex push-ups. Here are some of the best complex push-ups recommended by fitness expert Andrew Demetre.
For Chest and Triceps
For a laser-sharp burn in your chest and triceps, try close-grip push-ups, followed by switchover push-ups, and finish with offset push-ups.
You’ll get the best results from this example when you use a medicine ball. Incorporating the ball allows you to target areas like your shoulder stabilizers that are often neglected in traditional workouts. Go with two to three sets with four to ten reps per complex variant, and then try to talk about how ineffective the push-up is!
For Big Shoulders
Vertical press push-ups are the bread and butter for bigger shoulders. They’re also kinder to your joints and a more comfortable exercise for anyone with tighter hamstrings than the alternative pike push-up. This workout will not only hit your entire shoulder complex but also improves your overall shoulder health.
Vertical press, hand release, and Y-reach push-ups should all find their way into this exercise routine. Strive for two to three sets again, but pump it up to six to twelve reps. If you’re doing a Y-reach isolated hold, hold for a good 20 seconds to really feel that burn!
For Strong Shoulders and Mobile Hips
This set of complex push-ups is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a more connected exercise that still promises power. They’re more for those with decent flexibility, so opt for the previous set if you’re on the tighter side.
Yoga, reverse yoga, and pike push-ups round out this regimen. They’re a fantastic way to finish your upper-body workouts, especially since Andrew Demetre recommends doing the yoga push-up variations to failure, perfecting mind and body simultaneously!
Who Is Andrew Demetre?
Andrew Demetre is a Charleston-based physical trainer and health coach. He focuses on changing the model of what training programs look like with flexible but comprehensive workout plans.
After moving to South Carolina during the pandemic, Demetre has a renewed passion for helping people become their best selves. His programs reflect his desire to get his clients invested in their bodies so they can live healthier, happier lives.
Erik Jackson has been a senior editor at Health News Tribune for three years. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions and the newest trends in medicine.