EXERCISES TO DO INSTEAD OF PUSHUPS

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Are you are ready for a pectoral-pumping workout that doesn’t involve push-ups? Then this workout is for you. Each move is guaranteed to train some or all of the muscles used in push ups without doing a single push-up.

BENCH PRESS

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One of the all-time classic exercises is the bench press. This basic yet effective strength-building exercise works the major muscles of the pectorals and triceps; it’s relatively easy to do; it can be performed with just a bench and barbells; and it’s fun!

Additionally, the bench press is used as a measure of strength in many fitness tests and evaluations. People love to see how much they can bench but like all exercises, it’s best to use a weight that you can handle.

Best for: Building strength and mass in the muscles of your chest.

Recommended load: Depending upon your goals you can use a light, medium or heavy load.

Form:
• Lie on a workout bench with your back flush to the bench.
• Grasp the bench press bar with an overhand grip that is wider than shoulder-width apart.
• Lift the bar off the bench stand, slowly lower the bar until it is a couple inches away from your chest (just around the nipple line), and pause for a second.
• Extend your arms fully to lift the bar from your chest, but do not lock out the elbow joint.

Cautions: Be sure to keep your back flat on the bench throughout the entire movement. Use a load that you can safely handle. Use a spotter for extra heavy loads.

OFFSET ONE-ARM DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS

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If you would like to train the muscles of your chest and core at the same time, then try a one-arm dumbbell chest press. Just like you do when you do push-ups, the one arm dumbbell chest press works your chest and core. You can also do this from a ball for added core work.

Best for: Endurance training while activating the muscles of your chest and core.

Recommended load: Depending upon your goals you can use a light or medium load.

Form:
• Lay on a bench with your head, neck and one shoulder supported with your trunk and legs offset. Keep your feet flat with knees bent at 90 degrees and hips extended.
• The arm that is supported by the bench will serve as an anchor while the other arm does the work.
• Hold a dumbbell in one hand, close to your chest.
• Extend the arm straight above you, in line with the middle of your chest.
• Hold for one second and lower to starting position.
• Repeat your repetitions with your right arm before moving to your left.

Cautions:
Be sure to keep your upper back, neck and head on the bench throughout the entire movement. Keep your body parallel to the floor by not letting your hips dip. Use a load that you can safely handle. Use a spotter for heavy loads.

CABLE CHEST PRESS

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Preparation:
Stand between two shoulder height pulleys, facing away from the cable columns. Grasp cable handles from each side. Position handles to sides of chest with elbows high out to sides. Position forearms horizontal and parallel with hands elbow width. Step forward in lunging position (one foot in front of the other).

Execution:
Push handles forward until arms are straight and parallel to one another. Return handles to original position until slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulders. Repeat.

Cautions:
Handles should follow slight arch pattern as hands travel closer together toward extension. Cable pulleys should be relatively close together, narrower than width of arms extended out to sides (but not too close).

For more information on how to work your chest, shoulders and triceps without doing push-ups, contact Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.