Push Yourself to a Sexy Upper Body

Target your shoulders, chest, triceps, back, and core with this killer do-anywhere pushup routine.

January 4, 2013

Whether you’re traveling for work or vacationing on a secluded beach, there are times when you simply can’t get to a gym. However, there may be no more effective, efficient, and convenient way to achieve a complete upper-body blast than doing several sets of pushups. From arms to shoulders, back to core, IFBB bikini pro Véronique Morin demonstrates six variations of the traditional pushup that work a surprising variety of muscle groups—with minimal or no equipment—to give you the sculpted upper body of your dreams.

DUMBBELL PUSH-ROW RAISE
Works: Rear delts, pecs, triceps, lats, core
This move requires coordination and balance to hold a proper plank position, and is particularly effective in working the core.
• Start in pushup position with a 10-pound dumbbell in your right hand and a three-pound dumbbell in your left hand, palms inward, feet at shoulder width for stability (A).
• Perform pushup, then row the 10-pound dumbbell to your hip line (B, C).
• Perform pushup, then raise the three-pound dumbbell with straight arm until parallel to the floor, forming a 90-degree angle with your anchor arm (D).
• Complete a full set of eight reps of each movement, then repeat with weights in opposite hands.

Dumbbell Push Row

TIP NO. 1: Avoid rotating hips and shoulders at the top of a row or raise, instead keeping them parallel to the ground.

HIP JUMP PUSHUP
Works: Rear delts, pecs, core
This is a dynamic move that requires quick bursts of explosive power.
• Start in pushup position, feet at shoulder width, straddling a BOSU ball, flat side down (A).
• Perform pushup, and at the top of the movement jump both toes to the top of the ball (B).
•As you jump your legs back to a wide position, simultaneously return to the down position of the pushup.
• Do two sets of 15–20 reps.

Hip Jump Pushup

PUSH & REACH
Works: Rear delts, pecs, core
This move improves mobility, particularly in the shoulders.
• Start in pushup position, feet at hip width, and perform pushup (A).
• At the top of your subsequent pushup, simultaneously extend right arm so that it’s parallel to the floor and raise left leg about eight inches, also parallel to the floor (B).
• Hold this position and count to three.
• Return to the top of the plank position and switch arms and legs.
• Do two sets of five reps on each side.

”Push

TIP NO. 2: When arm and leg are extended at the top of the movement, keep back flat and hips parallel to the floor.

CROSS-TAP MED BALL PUSHUP
Works: Rear delts, pecs, core
The medicine ball will force a deeper-than- normal pushup and test the range of motion of your pectoral muscles.
• Start in pushup position, with left hand on floor and right hand on small medicine ball, feet at hip width and perform pushup (A, B).
• At top of the subsequent pushup, tap left palm to right shoulder (C).
• Place hand on floor and continue for eight reps total.
• Roll ball to left hand and repeat for eight reps.

”Cross

TIP NO. 3: These two moves require agility, but don’t forget to maintain a proper plank position throughout.

SCORPION PUSHUP
Works: Rear delts, pecs, core, glutes
These are butt-burning pushups!
• Start at top of pushup position, feet at hip width.
• Raise your right leg about
12 inches off the floor so that right knee is above left knee (A).
• As you descend into the bottom of the pushup, curl your right leg slightly past 90 degrees (B).
• As you push up, straighten right leg.
• Switch legs and repeat.
• Do two sets of 10 reps per leg.

Scorpian Pushup

PIKE PUSHUP
Works: Rear delts, triceps
These work the shoulders more than regular push-ups and also stretch the shoulders and hamstrings.
• Start in pushup position with feet on an 18-inch-high bench or plyo platform (A).
• Walk hands toward the bench until arms are aligned with your ears, keeping spine neutral (B).
• Lower head to the floor until it touches and then drive up, keeping your body in a “v” pike position throughout the movement.
• Perform two sets of eight reps, maintaining control.

Pike Pushup

TIP NO. 4: For a more extreme shoulder-shredding workout, kick your legs up against a wall and do the pushups from the handstand position.