This Bodyweight Chest and Shoulder Workout Will Make You Love Push-Ups Leave a comment


Welcome to Week 4 of the Spring Reset Challenge! You’re in the homestretch now with just five workouts left, and you’ll be digging down deep to finish strong: This final week is all about finding your max strength as you push, pull, and move your body through these last routines.

Like in the prior weeks, you’ll be starting Week 4 with some serious upper-body focus. This bodyweight chest and shoulder workout—which, like all of the workouts in this challenge, was created by Justin and Taylor Norris, cofounders of the LIT Method studio in Los Angeles—is focused on the push-up, a traditional, upper-body blaster that smokes your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

You’ll be completing three different variations of the move during the main set of this bodyweight chest and shoulder workout: You’ll start with the dive bomber push-up, a variation that trains flexibility in your lower half while helping you build pushing strength. Then you’ll take on the decline push-up, a progression from the regular push-up that works the front of your shoulders harder than the traditional. The final push-up variation is the wide-grip push-up, a move that takes some of the tension off your chest and shoulder muscles, as compared to the traditional push-up, but really hits your serratus anterior, a muscle that starts out along your ribcage and plays an important role in stabilizing your scapula, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

In between the push-up variations, you’ll slot in the I raise, another exercise that boosts shoulder stability and also works your upper back and lower traps, as well as triceps dips, which work the muscles on the back of your upper arms. You’ll finish with an (optional) push-up challenge: as many clean reps as you can get in 90 seconds.

Push-ups can be a tricky exercise to master since they require lots of strength in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. The good thing, though, is they are easily modified. Though doing push-ups from your knees can make the move easier, elevating your hands instead—while keeping the rest of your body in a straight line—can actually be a more efficient push-up modification, since it allows you to go through the full range of motion. The higher the bench or step you use for your hands, the easier the exercise will be. (After this challenge is done, check out this 3-move pushing workout, which will help you train the muscles you need to get to a full push-up.)

The moves in this bodyweight chest and shoulder workout are challenging, so feel free to modify them as you need to. Remember, quality reps are more important than quantity here, so focus on cranking out clean reps rather than rushing through the moves.

The workout below is for Day 22 of the SELF Spring Reset Challenge. Check out the full month of workouts right here. Or go to the workout calendar here. If you haven’t signed up to receive daily emails, do that here.

WORKOUT DIRECTIONS

Do each move for your selected period of time. At the end of all 5 moves, rest for 90 seconds. That’s 1 circuit. Do the entire circuit 3–5 times. After your last circuit, try the optional extra credit.

  • Option 1: 20 seconds of work, 40 seconds of rest
  • Option 2: 25 seconds of work, 35 seconds of rest
  • Option 3: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest

EXERCISES

  • Dive Bomber Push-Up
  • Triceps Dip
  • Decline Push-Up
  • I Raise
  • Wide Push-Up

EXTRA CREDIT

Complete a 90-second push-up AMRAP. Remember that the point of an AMRAP is to work continuously—not burn out after 30 seconds. So slow down your reps so you can continue to work the entire time, even if that means hold a modified plank on your knees.



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