Bodyweight exercises have been a lifesaver for people in the gym as well as outside the gym. Push-ups, which requires no fancy gym equipment has been the go-to movement for losing weight and building upper body strength. A compounded exercise which not only gives you strength but also works on multiple joints at the same time. This is the reason, why push-ups are so valuable in any fitness regime.
Push-ups remain one of the most effective exercises to help people build strength and endurance. In-spite of trendy exercises and high tech equipment, people rely heavily on the bodyweight exercises like push-ups to get in tone. However, attempting the same regular push-ups day in and day out, can be quite monotonous. Thus it becomes a good idea to try out a different variation of regular push-ups and keep your fitness routine more intense.
In wide pushup, the position of the hands is wider as compared to shoulder width apart in regular push-ups. The wider the hands are, the more chest muscles will be used; the closer the hands are, the more your triceps will be used. Wide pushup, allows you to perform an increased range of motion.
Changing your hand’s position during push-ups is important because it allows you to work for different muscles group with the same exercise. This in return, provides you with better muscle development. Changing the position also allows you to break the range of motion. When certain exercises have been attempted for a longer duration, the body adapts to its range of motion, and it only works on the same muscles group. Other smaller muscles of your body get left behind, creating a diminishing effect on the body.
In this segment, we will discuss the technique involved in attempting wide push-ups, the muscles group this exercise works on, how to incorporate the exercise in your routine and it’s comparison to other bodyweight exercises like the diamond push-ups. We will also discuss the right form of the body and the dos and don’ts involved in this exercise.
Technique to perform the wide pushup
Any exercise is a good idea to perform, provided that you do it with the correct technique. As discussed above, this exercise emphasizes on a greater chest to triceps proportion as compared to regular/ narrow grip push-ups. Performing the wide grip push-up is similar to regular push-ups. The only difference remains in the position of your hands. However, following are the steps to be followed while performing wide grip push-ups.
1. Hands must be about one and half times as wide as your shoulder width. The finger must be pointing in the forward direction.
2. Fully extend your legs behind you with your feet touching the floor. This is your starting position.
3. Now bend your elbows until your chest touches the floor. Hold your body for a second in the same position.
4. Push yourself up from the ground and return to the initial position with your elbows entirely extended.
During the movements, ensure that the core and the upper back remain completely stable. The position of the elbow should not flare out. It should look like a V from above instead. Squeezing both the shoulder blades together will correct the elbow position.
Benefits – The muscles group Wide Push-ups works on
Performing wide grip push-ups makes use of the pectoral muscles in the chest to push your body up. During the exercise, the abdominal muscles get strained, forcing them to contract with up and down movement. This will result in more calories burn and tone your body. It also provides deeper and stronger ab muscles.
The other muscles that get benefited from the wide grip push-ups are anterior deltoids, triceps brachii, and shoulder muscles. It also increases your range of motion as the hands are placed wider in comparison to the regular push-ups. To increase endurance, you can perform a higher number of repetitions.
How often should you perform Wide Push-ups?
If you’re a beginner, start with 5 – 8 repetitions and gradually increase as you get more comfortable with the movements. If you are having difficulty managing the weight on your chest, you use the knee position to develop required strength and to get used to the range of motion.
If you’re intermediate, attempt 2 – 3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions. There is no harm in doing this exercise as a replacement for regular push-ups. You can even include this exercise with your full body workout.
For advanced level, perform 2 – 3 sets of 12 – 15 repetitions. You can even include the variation in the exercise to make it a little more intense.
How to make Wide Pushup more challenging?
Bodyweight exercise needs a lot of patience and resilience. The variation used in this bodyweight exercise helps to curate mundane-ness and keep your fitness routine more challenging and intense. To make the wide grip push-ups more challenging, including one of the following variations in your fitness regime.
1. Make use of a weighted vest to increase the pressure on the body. This will help you to stabilize your body weight properly.
2. Include the inclined or the declined version of wide push-ups in your fitness routine and make it more intense.
3. Use a narrow grip pattern as opposed to wide grip push-ups. This will enhance your triceps more as compared to the chest in wide grip pattern.
4. If you feel extremely powerful in terms of strength, try doing the wide push-ups on your fingertip as opposed to on your palms. See if you can attempt a few successful reps.
The breathing pattern is crucial to understand as it can have adverse effects on your body if not performed accurately. You must breathe in as you go down and breathe out as you push yourself back up in the initial position. Correct breathing pattern can keep your energy levels high.
Are wide push-ups bad for the body?
This is certainly a misconception. Many people feel that this exercise does more harm than good. But let me tell you if you’re not attempting the exercise with the right technique, patterns, and forms, your body will definitely feel the heat.
But when this exercise is attempted with right technique and form, this exercise does better only. Learn to correct the technique and attempt the perfect wide push-ups as discussed above.
Precautions while performing Wide Pushup
1. Keep your hands one and a half distance away as compared to the shoulder width. That the right distance for you to attempt wide push-ups.
2. Maintain proper breathing pattern to keep yourself active throughout the entire fitness routine.
3. If you don’t have the strength, start with knee position rather than taking the toes formation. Gradually move towards the full wide push-up.
4. Engage your core to maintain proper balance. Make sure to use shoulder blades for getting the elbow position right.
Wide pushup vs. Diamond pushup
Diamond push-ups and wide push-ups both have the same form with different hand positions. In wide grip push-ups, the hands are just outside the shoulders. In diamond push-up, the tip of your index finger and the tip of your thumbs are kept together. This forms a diamond shape in between your hands. Diamond push-ups is a form of close grip push-up.
In wide push-ups, the chest and the shoulders muscle are targeted mainly. The triceps provides assistance to bear the load of the body. However, in diamond push-ups, the chest, triceps and the front shoulders are worked mainly. The primary muscle in diamond push-up is triceps. The chest and the shoulders are considered as secondary muscles.
Diamond push-ups require a lot more strength to be done as compared to wide pushup. It is a more difficult variation of regular push-ups because your triceps are required to do most of the work. However, either of this exercise can be converted into a knee position to make it relatively simpler.
Pay attention towards attaining proper form and posture to avoid any unnecessary pain in the shoulders. The wide pushup is a good variation to be added to your fitness routine to avoid boredom and train different muscles group of your body. But it can cause real discomfort many times because of poor body formation.
This bodyweight exercise requires no fancy gym equipment or any high tech machines. All they need is determination and a floor mat. So decide your fitness goals. Think which muscle group you want to improve your body. And accordingly chose one of the many push-ups variations out there.
If you want to have a stronger chest and shoulder muscles, try doing this multi-joint exercise which is known as the wide grip push-ups. So stop wasting time and get some push-ups going to build a little strength and endurance inside you.