Push-ups have been an effective exercise that has been around for decades. Their popularity among people has been a testament to their valuable contribution to any fitness regime. There is no need of machines to tone your body, weights to gain any strength, and or, a treadmill to burn the calories. Though you must know how to maneuver them to your advantage. If you think you lifting your own bodyweight is not challenging enough for you, it means that you lack the creativity and modification with push-ups. There is enough variation available to be tried out and ultimately become a man of steel.

One such variation of regular pushup is side to side pushup. It is a great upper body exercise that offers a different range of motion than the regular push-ups.

Side to Side Pushup

The side to side pushup is a perfect exercise that mainly targets the chest muscles and to a certain degree the shoulders, triceps, and traps. The side to side pushup is for intermediate level and above. You need to have experience and some strength before attempting this variation of side to side pushup. It is a great exercise to be included in your fitness routine if you can perform regular push-ups, without breaking a sweat.

In this segment, we will discuss the technique involved in the side to side push-ups, the muscle group it works on, its comparison to other exercises and the benefits of this exercise.

How to master the art of side to side pushup?

People often do the regular push-ups as a part of their fitness routine. There are also few fitness fanatics that perform the regular push-ups day and night without breaking any sweat. But that does not necessarily mean that it is a good thing for your body. With the same movements and range of motion over a longer period of time, the muscles tend to get inactive. This means that their growth gets limited. Thus it is a good idea to always try a new variation in push-ups and keep the muscles active.

Following are the steps in doing the perfect side to side pushup.

1. Get into the pushup position with your body completely straight and supported by the hands. Place your hands shoulder width apart just beneath the shoulders.
2. Now flex the elbows and lean onto one side and lower your torso on the ground.
3. Extend your elbow and return to the starting position by pushing the body in the center.
4. Now lower your body on the other side and get back to the starting position to complete the repetition.
5. Repeat the steps until the set is completed or the time till you exhaust yourself.

Muscle group this exercise works on?

Side to side pushup is a good variation to be added to your fitness regime. There is abundant variation available when it comes to push-ups. All these different styles of push-ups more or less target the same muscle groups. Side to side push-up works on the pectoralis muscle, shoulders, and torso stabilizers.
This exercise is also good for shoulder joints mobility and increases its range of motion. It also targets the triceps, obliques and the lower back. Include this exercise in your routine to help yourself in toning the body.

Body Form and Breathing Pattern For Side To Side Pushup

Maintaining the correct body posture is quite essential to reap out maximum benefits from your workout session. The hands must be shoulder width apart and ensure that the body is completely aligned from shoulders to heels. Ensure that you maintain proper side to side movements. After each repetition, you should move to the other side while bending down. This while put an equal amount of pressure on both sides and will also prevent you from injuries if any that it might cause.

Proper breathing routine during the exercise keeps your energy level high, and you don’t get exhausted quickly. This in return helps you to attempt more repetitions and sets of a particular exercise. Breathe in as you slowly lower yourself onto one side and breathe out as you push yourself up in the starting and center position.

Elevated side to side pushup

Another variation of side to side pushup is by increasing the height of elevation. Make use of chair or stool to place your legs and utilize the advantage of different angles. You can vary the height of inclination based on your compatibility. The more height you increase, the greater will be the pressure on the shoulders.

To attempt the elevated version of side to side pushup, you must be able to perform at least 20 repetitions of normal side to side push quickly. Build the momentum and strength first, and then increase the level of difficulty in your exercise routine.

How much is enough and required?

Side to side pushup is strictly for intermediate level. If you are a beginner, this exercise is not for you. You must initially start with the regular push-ups and slowly build up to this variation.
For intermediate level, who can perform 20-25 reps of regular push-ups easily, you can start attempting side by side pushup. Try 2 -3 sets of 8 – 10 repetitions. Gradually increase the reps if the movements in the exercise get comfortable.

For advanced level athletes, attempt 2 – 3 sets of 12 – 15 repetitions. You can even try to make this exercise a little intense.

Challenge Yourself – Increase the Intensity of Side To Side Pushup

Side to side pushup can be easily incorporated into your full body workout routine. If the body gets accustomed to the same movements, the growth in the body becomes stagnant. Thus you should know when to bring in the change and prevent the muscles from becoming inactive.

By changing the range of motion or stress pattern, the muscles in the body remains active. They are no longer subjected to same motion and stress, day in and day out. To increase the intensity of side to side push-up – you can try one of the following variations,

1. Make use of a weighted vest to increase the stress on the shoulder, triceps and the chest muscles.
2. Increase the height of inclination. Make use of a chair or stool to hang your legs above the waist level.
3. Similarly, place your hands on some supporting object, to provide some height. This engages the core more as compared to the normal position.

Use of the following variation to bring variety and intensity to your fitness routine and have attained some great muscular in the process.

Side to Side Pushup vs. Bear Crawls

In, side to side push-ups, you keep changing the sides when going into the lower body position. Alternating your sides help you to put extra pressure and stress on the body sides and thus enhancing the overall ability of your chest, shoulders and triceps muscles.

In bear crawl, the rate of the heart beats and strength of the shoulders increases. It also strengthens the quadriceps and core. All this body region remain active during the push-ups.

But, how do you do the bear crawls?

Get into the push-up position with your palms and edge of the elbow touching the floor. The body must be in a straight line from shoulder to hips to heels. Brace your abdominal muscles. Now move the right foot and left hand a few inches ahead. The left foot and right hand must follow. This completes one repetition. Continue the exercise with the desired number of reps.

Bear crawls works on the same muscles group that most of the push-up variation does. Thus it can be used as an alternative to the push-ups and give your body some new kind of movements. An effective exercise, that can be incorporated at the start of your fitness routine as it requires a lot of stamina and strength to perform.

Wrapping Up

To get great muscular strength and highly effective body posture can be easily attained even without going to the gym. Push-ups have been a basic fitness exercise which requires no gym equipment. These exercises have been so flexible that it can be performed anywhere and everywhere, and at any time.

They can be as effective and as efficient as lifting weights. The only thing to remember is to do them in the correct form and with the right technique. There are a number of different varieties of push-ups which are as good as any other weight lifting exercises. So it is fine if you don’t have the time to hit the gym. Do these exercise at your home and get your body in tone. Start with the regular push-ups, and build yourself to this intensive variation, called as a side to side pushup.

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