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Push-up Variations


Did you know that the humble push-up does much more than work out your arms?

The exercise suitable for all ability levels will also work wonders for your shoulders (deltoids), chest (pectoralis major), core (rectus abdominis), hips (obliques) and legs (quadriceps).

Plus, because push-ups are a compound exercise, which means they use more than one muscle group, they’re a great exercise to help you get stronger.

If you want to improve your upper body strength, give this push up challenge a go! All you need is a timer and you’re good to go!

The Push-up Variation Challenge involves performing each of the following exercises for 30 seconds, followed by a minute’s rest between each exercise.

  • Narrow push-up

From a standard push-up stance, bring your hands close together so they’re directly under your shoulders with your elbows close to your body. This version will give your triceps an excellent work out.

  • Wide push-up

From a standard push-up stance, place each hand out as wide as is comfortable. The wider apart your hands are the harder you will work out your chest (pectoralis major).

  • Staggered push-up

From a standard push-up stance, place one hand forwards and lower yourself to the floor and back to the start position. Switch hands and repeat. This version works a number of muscle groups harder, including your triceps and pectorals.

Complete as many rounds as you can, and don’t forget to keep count of your push-ups so you’ve got a target to beat the next time you take the challenge. Perform some static stretches to warm up and cool down at the start and end of the challenge.

Oh, and be sure to let us know on social media how many rounds you manage with the hashtag #puregymsummersessions so we can share your push-up prowess to inspire your fellow members.

As always, if you’re unsure how to do any of these push-ups, simply ask a member of the team. There’ll be a new challenge next week, but in the meantime, get pushing!


Looking to tone your upper body? Check out our Exercises section for more ways to train your upper body.


Model: PT Jonathan Kibble at Leeds City Centre South

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