Push-ups are amazing! If you want to test yourself using only your bodyweight, check out this 4-week push-up challenge to try now.
In a video, sports teacher and YouTube fitness guru Alex Lorenz showed a 4 week push-up challenge that everyone should try. He is the co-founder of Calisthenic Movement and has trained Calisthenics since 2012, uploading videos regularly for those people interested in getting in shape using only their body weight.
See all you need to know about the challenge below.
The 4 Week Push-Up Challenge Everyone Should Try
The 4 week push-ups challenge everyone should try is divided into four workouts with 2 variations each day. Each workout is focused on different muscles and includes different progressions, so you can do the workout as a beginner, intermediate and also as an advanced athlete.
- Focused on chest and triceps
- Side-to-side push-up – the more you extend one arm and shift your weight to the other side, the harder this exercise gets
- In & Out push-ups – alternate between regular and diamond push-ups
You can make this movement easier on your knees, if you have to, or on an incline such as a couple of chairs.
- Focused on abs
- Gecko push-up – target your obliques and hip mobility
- Knee-to-elbow push-up – focuses on your rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques
With both exercises, you can do incline push-ups to make it easier on a couple of chairs or a table. The higher the object you use, the easier it should be.
If you cannot reach your elbows with your knees, your problem is hip mobility. In this case, try to get as close to the knee as possible.
- Target chest, shoulders, triceps and back
- Cobra push-up – remember to push your arms into the ground, extend your spine actively, and push your shoulders and shoulder blades downwards as much as possible
- Swimmer push-up – this is similar to the hand-release push-up, but extend the arms above your head and keep your spine as straight as possible
You can turn the cobra push-up easier by using your knees as the point of contact with the floor.
The swimmer push-ups can also be modified to do on the knees or utilising a higher object.
- Focuses on the shoulders
- Planche push-up or pseudo-planche push-up – this is a traditional push-up but with your feet more forward than normal, the more you move forward, the more your shoulders take over the exercise and the harder it is
- Pike push-up – using an object to get higher, makes this exercise harder
According to Lorenz, you should aim to do the workouts 3 times a week for 4 weeks. An example would be:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays – workouts 1, 2 and 3 respectively
What about sets and reps?
- 3-4 sets of each variation of 6-15 reps
- 2-3 minutes of rest between sets
To fully understand all the exercises, watch the video below.
Push-ups can be incorporated into your workout in a variety of ways, depending on your fitness level and goals. Here are some suggestions:
- As a warm-up: Start your workout with a set of push-ups to warm up your upper body and activate the muscles you’ll be using during your workout.
- In a circuit: Include push-ups as part of a circuit training workout, where you perform a series of exercises back-to-back with little to no rest in between.
- As a standalone exercise: You can do push-ups as a standalone exercise, either for a specific number of reps or for a certain amount of time.
- With variations: Add variety to your push-up routine by incorporating different variations, such as incline push-ups, decline push-ups, diamond push-ups, or plyometric push-ups.
- Superset with other exercises: Pair push-ups with other exercises that work different muscle groups, such as squats or lunges, to create a full-body workout.
- With increasing difficulty: Challenge yourself by increasing the difficulty of your push-ups over time, such as by adding weight, decreasing the rest time between sets, or increasing the number of reps.
Remember to always maintain proper form during your push-ups to avoid injury and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.
Push-ups are considered a great exercise for several reasons. Here are some key benefits of push-ups and why they are highly regarded:
- Full-Body Exercise: Push-ups engage multiple muscle groups, making them a compound exercise that works various areas of the body simultaneously. They primarily target the chest muscles (pectoralis major), shoulders (deltoids), and triceps, but also engage the core, back, and leg muscles to stabilize the body during the movement.
- Strength and Muscle Development: Push-ups are an effective bodyweight exercise for building upper body strength and muscle. They target the muscles mentioned above and can lead to increased muscle mass, especially in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Consistently performing push-ups with proper form and gradually increasing the intensity can help promote muscular development and overall strength.
- Functional Fitness: Push-ups mimic movements that are fundamental to daily activities, such as pushing objects, getting up from the ground, or performing tasks that require upper body strength. By regularly incorporating push-ups into your workout routine, you can enhance your functional fitness and improve your ability to perform daily tasks efficiently.
- Core Stabilization: Push-ups engage the core muscles, including the abdominal muscles and lower back, to maintain stability throughout the exercise. This helps strengthen the core and improves overall stability, which can enhance posture, balance, and overall athleticism.
- Versatility and Accessibility: Push-ups can be performed almost anywhere without the need for equipment, making them a versatile and accessible exercise. Whether at home, outdoors, or in a gym, you can include push-ups in your workout routine with ease.
- Scalability and Progression: Push-ups can be modified to suit different fitness levels. If you’re a beginner, you can start with modified push-up variations, such as knee push-ups or inclined push-ups against a raised surface. As you build strength, you can progress to standard push-ups and even advanced variations like decline push-ups or plyometric push-ups. This scalability allows individuals to continually challenge themselves and progress over time.
- Cardiovascular and Metabolic Benefits: Push-ups, when performed at a higher intensity or as part of a circuit training routine, can elevate your heart rate, providing cardiovascular benefits and contributing to calorie burning and metabolic improvements.