Fitness regime can become monotonous quite quickly. And when things start to get dull, the energy levels also begin to plunge considerably. However, fitness regime and energy levels go hand in hand. The effectiveness of your fitness routine depends completely upon the amount of energy and efforts; you are willing to put in. There is no point going to the gym, spending hundreds of dollar and not putting any effort or energy into it. You won’t feel that your muscles are growing, neither will the strength in your body will grow.
Thus to avoid such mundaneness, different variations of exercises must always be tried. It not only brings a challenging element to your routine but at the same time, it also keeps the fun factor alive. And with pushups, there are as many variations as you need to be tried out. They just do not seem to end. Even if you try 2 different styles of pushup in a month, 3 years of gym time won’t be sufficient for you to complete the entire list. Out of the many pushup variations to be tried, one such variation is known as the staggered pushup.
A staggered pushup is a calisthenics exercise which is bodyweight movement executed in the prone position by bending the elbows at 90-degree angle, as your arms are used to lower and raise the torso. This pushup variation can be considered as a movable plank, as this exercise requires the use of core strength as much as it requires the upper body during performance.
A staggered pushup is an excellent exercise as it recruits multiple joints and muscle groups during the movements. All in all, staggered pushup is a real test of endurance, strength, and stability. In this post, we will discuss the technique involved in mastering the art of staggered pushup, breathing pattern involved during the movements of the body, muscles group that this exercise works on, benefits of staggered pushup and its comparison to other bodyweight exercises.
How to Perform a Staggered Pushup?
A staggered pushup is an opposition of regular or standard pushup, in a way that it utilizes the shoulder and the core more in comparison. This exercise is also considered to be an effective progressive exercise towards the more challenging single arm pushup.
Time and again, we have claimed the importance of perfect body positioning at the time of body movement. Staggered pushups are no different. It is important for you to know the correct body positioning and then execute the movements with it. Following are the way that describes the right starting position for a staggered pushup.
1. Get your body on the ground with the knee position. Now place one hand as you would do in the regular pushup, which is next to the shoulder, and the other hand must be in lower chest height.
2. The position of the hands must be a bit wider, as compared to the width of the shoulders. Try to maintain the body with the outstretched arms position.
3. Tighten up the core and extend your legs fully to the back position. Your body must be in line and in the right position to perform a staggered pushup.
Performing Range Of Motion
Once you have the correct body position for the exercise, next you should the correct movements to rip out full benefits of the exercise. Following are the steps explained in detail which shows how you should perform the staggered pushup, step by step.
1. Once in the starting position, initiate the exercise by flexing the elbows and lowering the torso, down to the floor. Make sure that the hip is not raising up, or sagging sideways.
2. At the bottom position, hold your body for a second or two, before extending the elbows to return back to the starting position.
3. Once you complete the initial set, change the hand’s positions and perform the same set of moves to complete the round.
4. Perform the desired number of reps and sets, but ensure that you do the movements in the right position and order.
If this exercise is too difficult to do at the start, you can try out the knee version to make it a lot easier. And to impede the staggered pushup, once you are comfortable with it, make use of weighted vest belt. You can also try and put your feet on a table or stool to increase the difficulty level.
Breathing Pattern for Staggered Pushup
Breathing right is crucial in order to save some energy and to do that extra set of repetition and it is something, which might be the eventual difference between a pro fitness fanatic and you. Right breathing can save energy. So for a staggered pushup, breathe in as you lower your body down to the floor. Hold your bottom position for a second, before pushing yourself back in the starting position. Remember to breathe out, as you extend the arms and get to the up starting position.
Muscle Group Staggered Pushup Works on
A staggered pushup is considered as an advanced exercise that incorporates shoulder, triceps stability, and core. This exercise also uses more strength in the rotator cuffs as required in a regular pushup. The primary muscles that this exercise works on are the deltoids, pectoralis major, triceps and gluteus muscle. It is essential the staggered pushup and the core must work simultaneously to achieve optimal performance. Staggered pushup, if done correctly can provide an aesthetically pleasing look to the muscle of the body.
Benefits of Staggered Pushup
A staggered pushup is known for its ability to help strengthen the upper body muscle. It works on a different number of muscle group as stated above. It also helps to tone the body, by assisting in quick unwanted weight and fat loss. It has the ability to work on the core as well, thus improving it overall ability, which can be quite fruitful to attempt other difficult variation of the pushups, like single arm pushup. Staggered pushup, also helps to improve the cardiovascular system of the body.
Who should do it and how much is enough?
Though this exercise is considered as an intermediate level exercise, there is no harm for beginners to try it. Though you must be comfortable with regular pushups, before attempting staggered pushup.
1. For beginners, it is advisable to perform 4 sets in total, with two set each side of 10 reps. Make sure you are able to maintain the correct position and form as described above.
2. For intermediate, try a total of 6 sets, with three sets each side of 12 reps. Do not force the issue, if you are not comfortable doing it. You might damage yourself.
3. For advanced level athletes, it is advisable to try the exercise for a total of 6 sets, three on each side of 16 reps. You can also impede the exercise by using weighted vest belt or going on the stool with your legs. Ensure you take a rest time of about 30 to 60 seconds in between each set.
Staggered Pushup vs. Regular Pushup
The position of the hands in staggered pushup is slightly wider in comparison to the one in a regular pushup. Because of the staggered hand position, this exercise will aid in creating better overall strength for performing other pushup variation, where the hand position is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The resistance provided for the body during performance of staggered pushup, enables better functionality and strength, in comparison to regular pushup. Staggered pushup provides better stabilization and balance to the body as compared to regular pushup. And as already discussed, staggered pushup movement uses more core, triceps and shoulders than the regular pushup movement.
A staggered pushup is an effective pushup variation that works more on the chest, core, and shoulder of the body, as compared to standard pushup movement. Due to the hand position involved in this exercise, it helps to get accustomed to other pushup position that is much difficult but involves the same hand position. This exercise is a must for those fitness fanatics, who want to perform the single arm pushup one day.
A staggered pushup is considered as a progressive exercise towards the much eluded single arm pushup. Do not let the fitness routine become mundane and keep adding different pushup variations to it. There are the whole bunch of pushup styles available, that are as effective as the previous one that you tried out. So go on, read the guide for staggered pushup again – if need be, but do not shy away from attempting them. It is fun and effective at the same time.