In my last post, I explained why group fitness instructors need to start championing push-ups in their classes. Push-ups are functional, easy to do at home and one of the best ways to work the chest. Participants are finally starting to acknowledge push-ups as a good workout and with a little encouragement, we can convince the entire class to embrace the push-up.
My previous post explained the first three progressions of push-ups for anyone just starting out or that has a physical limitation at the moment. Now, let’s take a look at the next set of push-up variations for those wanting more challenging options.
Knee push-ups (Version 2)
Once your Group X class has mastered the first version of knee push-ups, then they can move on to the second version. The only change is to move their hands farther away from their knees, and transition so that their weight is right above their knees. Their body should be in a straight line from the knees to the shoulders as participants lower their body to the floor by bending at the elbow.
For tricep push-ups, participants will place their hands right under their shoulders and come up onto their toes in a plank position — body in a straight line from ankle to shoulders. Have participants lower their body to the floor by bending their elbows and extend to push back up.
Make sure folks go all the way to the floor. I like to call this, “chest to deck”. I always encourage members to try at least one push-up on their toes before going to their knees. They can always switch in the middle of a set, and even just one on the toes will help challenge them. So, even if they can’t finish the set on their toes, it’s great to have participants envisioning these push-ups as their ultimate goal, rather than settle in knee push-ups for eternity.
Also, to help alleviate some minor discomfort in the wrists, I encourage members to push all of their fingertips into the floor and picture themselves distributing the weight evenly between fingers.
Push-ups with feet on the step
Once folks have mastered the tricep push-up, then the fun begins as we get to start playing with other push-up variations. In my last post, we talked about using a step to help members progress towards doing this exercise on the floor. Once they want to move beyond the standard floor push-up, they can use the step to lift their lower half, putting more weight into their push-up.
With these six push-up options, Group X instructors should be well-armed to teach this exercise to participants with a wide range of fitness levels. If you’re excited about push-ups, I have complete confidence you can get your class excited about them, too.
For more posts like these, check out the workout routines and playlists page.
Also, you might like the tricep exercises post.