There are exercises out there that target both your chest and triceps without having to do a single push up. I’ll introduce you to alternative bodyweight exercises to a push up here so that you don’t have to waste your time scrolling through the internet, and maybe not having to do another push up again.
As I have mentioned in a complete push up tutorial I’ve previously written, the primary muscles worked in push ups are the chest, triceps, and anterior deltoids. The secondary muscles worked are the abdominals, obliques, serratus anterior, glutes, and quadriceps.
Try these push ups alternatives if you have weaknesses in the shoulder, chest, or wrist area. Some of these exercises put your body in a different position or perform different movement paths to a standard push up which may be better alternatives for many people.
This exercise builds strength in your chest, triceps, shoulders, and core. It promotes upper body strength which is a great substitute for push ups. The Men’s Health calls this the king of tricep exercises. Find out more about this exercise and its variation in this comprehensive tricep dips tutorial.
The bench dip is a regression exercise to parallel dips as this places your feet on the ground which takes the body load away from the upper body muscles. The benefits of this variation are the same as the prior exercise.
This is a great exercise that emphasizes your triceps, deltoids, and core. It is a cool-looking calisthenics exercise that develops your upper body strength.
This is an isometric exercise, which means your muscles are being engaged without any body movement. Isometrics are great for building strength and stability for the range of motion of a push up. This also works the core as your body will be in a plank position. I have previously covered seven variations of this exercise in this plank tutorial.
This section will cover push up alternatives for weak wrists, which could be caused by previous injuries, inflexible wrists, or weak wrists.
This is a great exercise for targeting the chest especially if you get wrist pains from doing push ups. They will develop your pushing strength while minimizing stress on your shoulders. A 2019 study suggests that elastic resistance training promotes similar strength gains to conventional resistance training.
The ring chest fly targets your chest and back muscles. Gymnastic rings will also work your core stabilizers from the get-go. There are many brands to get your calisthenics gear from, which is why I’ve written an article highlighting where you can purchase them from. Check out this top ten calisthenics equipment blog.
There you have it my Gymless heroes, the six alternative bodyweight exercises to push ups you can do at home or the local park. You can do these six exercises in your next chest workout to build upper body pushing strength.
These exercises will provide your body with a new stimulus as you’ll be activating your targeted muscles in different ways. This will strengthen your body, prevent boredom, and help you push past plateaus. Have fun with them, and let me know how you find it in the comment section below!
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My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.