A solid torso without pectorals is simply impossible to imagine, the same as strong arms without strong triceps. Given the fact that the human body operates as a complete unit, these two muscle groups can be exercised at the same time if we choose the right exercises. Of course, they may be trained individually using different isolation exercises on various weightlifting exercises, but I wouldn’t recommend it, even to those who are disciples of more “old-school” exercises. Why not try and get away from something that is not natural for the body!
So, let’s get started…
Lay down in a push-up position with your hands on the floor. Keep your arms at shoulder width, with your legs, torso, and head in a single plane as the starting position. Slowly lower yourself into the down position, holding your body as close to the ground as possible. Hold this position for 1 – 2 seconds and then push back up to the starting position. Once you reach the starting position, immediately start back down without stopping. The essence of this exercise is to move up and down in 2 seconds and hold your body in the down position above the ground for 1 – 2 seconds. This means one push-up every 5 seconds, or 20 in 100 seconds, for those who are less skilled in mathematics,-)
It strengthens the entire upper part of the body, including the pectorals, triceps, shoulders, the abdominals, and the erector spinal muscles.
Intermediate (push-ups with a Bosu ball)
Assume the standard push-up positions with your hands on the Bosu ball as the starting position. From this position, push your arms out to the side, so they land next to the Bosu ball and your chest remains just above the ball itself. Hold this position for 1 – 2 seconds and then push back up to the starting position. Once you reach the starting position, immediately drop back down to your chest just above the Bosu ball without taking a break.
Use any taller pad if you don’t have a Bosu ball.
Advanced (one-armed push-ups using a box)
Take up the standard push-up position, placing one hand on a box or other support as the starting position. Slowly drop down on one arm towards the floor and hold in the down position for at least 1 second. Then slowly raise yourself up to the starting position. Once you reach the starting position, immediately start back down without stopping.
Use a table or a chair if you don’t have a suitable box available.
This is how I exercise my pectorals and triceps 🙂
These exercises are among my favorites, and I do many different variations on those I have mentioned here. My favorite combination is as follows:
I start with 10 sets of 20 repetitions and change the width of my hands, close together, standard width and spread far apart. I don’t do these push-ups in the same interval as shown for the beginner level or faster, they are complete push-ups through the full range of motion. Once I’ve done them (200 push-ups), my pectorals are warmed up and then I do 10 sets of 10 moderate push-up repetitions. Once I have done another 100 push-ups, I begin to do the advanced push-ups, 5 sets of 10 repetitions for each arm, which is another 100 push-ups. Then I do another hundred standard push-ups in the least possible number of sets to get to an even 500.
I do standard push-ups (not to slow and not too fast, through the full range of motion) up to a total of 200 repetitions. The purpose of this exercise is to do 200 push-ups as quickly as possible. Set up the breaks you take between sets based on your level of fitness with the overall goal of completing 200 push-ups as quickly as possible. I take 10 second breaks.