What are some underrated triceps exercises

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Saturday 31st August 2013

Pushups - An often underrated exercise

When it comes to chest exercises, the first thing everyone thinks of the bench press. But the good old push-ups still have their raison d'etre. They're not just an exercise for adolescent teens who are just starting to work out to look extra special. They also offer some additional benefits for athletes who are already experienced in strength training.
Pushups are just as important to me as the bench press. I therefore always incorporate one or more versions of push-ups into my training programs.

As well as working your chest and triceps, pushups have a number of benefits that make them great supplements to the bench press.
To do a proper push-up, you need good body tension. Except for the chest and triceps, the entire core muscles are challenged in order not to fall into the hollow back and to stabilize the body. This effect can be increased even further, depending on the athlete's level of training, by reducing the support area or by adding instability.
With push-ups you also train the stability of the shoulder blades. Many athletes who come to me have the problem that their shoulder blades stick out (scapular winging). The cause of this is often a too weak serratus anterior. The serratus anterior is responsible for keeping the shoulder blades on the chest. With the different bench press variants, the shoulder blades are fixed by the bench. This means that the Serratus Anterior no longer has to do any work. In contrast to the open chain movement, bench presses with push-ups (closed chain movement) the shoulder blades can move freely in their natural sequence of movements and so the Serratus Anterior has to take over the stabilization work and is trained directly.
When performing the push-ups, however, it is important that the shoulder blades work with you throughout the entire movement and are not held in a retracted position.
Push-ups offer a variety of variants to adapt the exercise to the performance level of the individual athlete. For beginners, they can be increased by raising their arms (on the wall or on a bench) or shortening the lever, e.g. B. by lowering the knees, can be made easier.
But they can also be made more difficult for those who are well trained. An elevated position of the feet shifts the body's center of gravity more towards the arms, which makes the execution more difficult. The use of additional weights, e.g. B. by weight vests, weight plates on the back or training bands increases the level of difficulty.
To bring more instability to the push-ups, they can also be performed with the hands on a physioball or a TRX. Lifting one leg also reduces the support area and makes the exercise even more challenging. These measures can of course also be combined with one another in order to achieve a greater training stimulus.

The one-armed push-ups, which require maximum strength and core stability, remain the ultimate discipline.
So pushups are not just a beginner exercise. There is a suitable and challenging variant for every level of ability. Therefore, I recommend that you also integrate push-ups into your training, if you don't already have one. Last but not least, they are a great way to add variety to your training.