The 7 Best Exercises to Replace Push-Ups

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Did you know that the push-up is a classic upper body exercise that helps improve balance, stability and posture? You should also be aware that doing push-ups with incorrect form or without proper strength can lead to pain or injury.

Here are seven push-up options that offer many of the same benefits as regular push-ups, while helping you stay safe and avoid injury.

One of the best exercises, not push-ups

  • forearm plank
  • high plank
  • side panel
  • traditional bench press
  • dumbbell bench press
  • Machine Horizontal Press
  • bear crawl

forearm plank

The longer you do this exercise, the more it affects the forearm plank, and the longer you stay in the plank position, the more it affects the upper body. During the forearm plank, try to breathe normally and don’t hold your breath. Focus on maintaining tension throughout your body as much as possible. Don’t let your hips drop, but don’t let your butt dangle.

  • Start on all fours, with forearms and knees on the floor. Work your back muscles by reaching your elbows into the ground.
  • Extend your legs behind you so you can stand on your tiptoes. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Squeeze your butt, pointing the “belt buckle” toward your chin.
  • Time to hold this top position.

high plank

This exercise builds strength in the shoulders, upper back and core. High planks also strengthen your wrists and promote good posture. It improves your balance, stability, and alignment, which will prepare your body for movement as you continue to push up.

And you have to remember that you try to breathe normally, not hold your breath. Focus on maintaining tension throughout your body as much as possible. Don’t let your hips drop, and don’t let your butt hang in the air.

  • Start on all fours with your hands and knees on the floor. Your arms should be fully extended and reach into the floor. Spread your fingers apart and try to actively grip the floor with your hands.
  • Extend your legs behind you so you can stand on your tiptoes. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Squeeze your butt, pointing the “belt buckle” toward your chin.
  • Time to hold this top position.

side panel

This exercise can improve your physical endurance, increase your body stability,

  • Start in a high plank pose (see instructions above).
  • Move your left hand toward the center.
  • Open your body sideways.
  • Place your right foot over or directly in front of your left foot.
  • Rest your right hand on your hip or raise it overhead, palm facing forward.
  • Look straight ahead or toward the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  • Do this 2 to 3 times per side.

traditional bench press

This exercise targets your chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles and is a simple variation of the bench press. This exercise builds upper body and compression strength while reducing stress on the wrists. It also helps improve muscular endurance.

  • Lie on your back on an exercise bench.
  • Press your feet firmly into the floor.
  • Press your glutes in and return to the bench throughout the exercise.
  • Hold the barbell with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Lift the bar off the stand and lower it until it’s just above the chest line.
  • Pause at this location.
  • Extend your arms as high as you can, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  • Do 1 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.

dumbbell bench press

The dumbbell bench press is a very effective exercise for increasing upper body strength and muscle mass for improved looks and performance.

  • Start sitting on the edge of the bench. Place a dumbbell upright on each thigh.
  • Use your legs to help push the weight into your chest while carefully lying back on the bench. If you have a spotter, they can pass the weights to you once you’re lying on your back.
  • Your arms should be fully extended above your chest at the beginning of each repetition. Keep your feet flat on the floor. If you can’t, place weight plates or blocks under your feet.
  • Start the movement by lowering the elbows down to the floor in a controlled manner. Keep your hands and elbows at a 45-degree angle to your sides (or as close as possible).
  • Lower the weights to chest height, then push them back toward the ceiling until the elbows are fully extended to complete the repetition.
  • After completing the set, lower the dumbbells to the floor before sitting up. If you’re using a spotter, have them carefully remove the weight from your hand before sitting up.

Machine Horizontal Press

The chest press machine is a great exercise for beginners. It provides an effective and direct way to work your upper body. Machine chest presses are a great option for people who have trouble standing or balancing on the floor or bench. Since the machine gives you all the stability, there are no weights to balance and no difficult technique to master, the chest press frees you to focus on your training.

  • Adjust the seat on the machine so that you can sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor. The seat should be high enough that you can press without shrugging.
  • Choose your weight on the machine and sit down. With your hands on the handles, move your hands forward so that they are just in front of your armpits.
  • Press until the elbow is fully extended.
  • Complete the repetition by bringing the hands back to the chest in a controlled manner.

bear crawl

This exercise is easy and good for your body, and bear crawls are a great alternative to pushups. You use nearly every muscle in your body when doing a bear crawl. This exercise works the shoulders (deltoids), chest and back, glutes, quads, hamstrings and core. Crawling builds upper-body, core, and lower-body strength and is a great way to develop total-body coordination.

  • Start on all fours with your hands and knees on the floor. At its simplest, start with your left hand and knee together, and your right hand and knee apart.
  • Tuck your toes under and push your hands and toes away so your knees are an inch or two off the floor. Keep your core engaged and your hips level so you don’t stick your butt in the air.
  • Crawl forward with right hand and left foot.
  • Then, crawl with your left hand and right foot.
  • Continue to crawl forward, alternating sides.

 

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