Push ups work the muscles of your upper body. If you want to increase the difficulty of the push ups, use the following variations of the basic push up.
An easy way to increase the intensity of the push up is to perform what are known as inclined push ups. You can use a chair or a bench upon which to place your hands instead of the floor to accomplish inclined push ups.
For military push ups you need to place your hands and toes on the floor. Keep your arms and back straight. Your hands have to be more than shoulder-width apart. Tighten your abdominal muscles and inhale as you bend your elbows until they form a 90 degree angle. Exhale as you come back to the initial position. Be careful not to touch the floor and keep your back straight at all times.
To ratchet down the intensity of the push up, perform what is called the modified push up. Instead of placing your toes on the floor, you place your knees on the floor. Keep your arms straight and your back aligned with your head and neck.
Lift your feet from the ground; you only have to keep your balance with the knees and hands. As you inhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and lower yourself until your elbows form a 90 degree angle. Slowly lift your body as you exhale. Keep your back straight and remember not to lock your elbows.
Push ups are very efficient for keeping your upper body muscles in shape. Push ups help you to increase muscle mass in your arms, shoulders and chest. If you keep your abs tightened during the push ups, you will see improvement in that area as well.
Push ups are not only for those who want big muscles. Anyone can do push ups without having their muscle mass increase that much. If you stick to the regular push ups, or the modified ones that involve your knees, you will tone up the upper body muscles and you won’t develop bulky muscles. If you want to work your muscles harder you can add extra difficulty by putting a weight on your back or by doing inclined push ups.
There are a many different types of push ups. You can check for DVD’s on exercise or ask a gym teacher for assistance. Each type has a certain level of difficulty and works your muscles in a certain way.