Push-ups are one of my favorite upper body exercises. In fact, they are one of my favorite full-body exercises. When you do a push-up correctly, it will engage your abs, lower back, quads, glutes, upper back, chest and of course, your arms.
Improving Your Push-ups
A lot of women hit a plateau with their push-ups, and one of the limiting factors becomes the strength of the triceps. Spot reduction does not work when it comes to fat loss— we know that. However, when we are looking to develop better strength or muscle in a certain area, I’m all for it.
Strengthening the triceps is a great way to improve your push-up strength. The triceps are the muscles on the backs of the arms that are responsible for any type of pushing. Engaging the triceps can be difficult on a push-up movement because many women struggle to keep their arms close to the body.
Here’s a bonus tip: When you are doing your push-ups, think about a pencil in between your arm and your body and you are trying to keep it from falling.
The Triceps Crusher
Today I wanted to give you one of my favorite exercises for strengthening (and sculpting) the triceps. At my gym we call this one the “Triceps Crusher.” Ideally this exercise is done on a set of rings or a TRX, but you can also do it on a barbell or Smith rack set up to about waist height.
Set your body up in a push-up position, tighten your core, keep your elbows in close and then drop your head toward the rings. Go as low as you can while maintaining a tight and rigid core and then drive back up with your elbows in.
The closer that you get your head to the rings without pushing your hips into the air, the more work you’ll get done. Check out the quick video for more tips.
Use this exercise as a supplement on your upper body days or build it into a full-body circuit. Use this also to replace any triceps dips or kickbacks, as this exercise puts the shoulders in a safer position and engages the core at the same time. Shoot for 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions and build yourself up so that each time you do it, you’re going a little lower.
Let me know how it goes for you with a comment here.