5 Best Ways To Use A Push Up Board
Nov 24, 2022
Push-ups are the most popular exercise among fitness enthusiasts to target and strengthen your core and upper body muscles. It is budget-friendly as it requires no expensive equipment. You can do it anywhere, anytime you want. But learning to do push-ups properly can be overwhelming for beginners. You must strike the correct position, balance, and stability to safely and effectively perform push-ups.
Push-up boards are excellent devices to help you make sure you attain the required stability every time you do push-ups. Apart from doing standard push-ups, you can use push-up boards in multiple other ways too. This article will explore five different ways to use a push-up board and the advantages and disadvantages of using it.
5 Different Ways to Use a Push-Up Board
1. For Standard push-ups
Most newbies use push-up boards to learn the correct technique to perform standard push-ups. Here’s how you use a push-up board to do standard push-ups.
- Secure the handles on the push-up bars parallelly. Lay with your chest and stomach flat on the stomach. Make sure your legs are straight behind you.
- Bring your torso towards the board with your arms bent at a 45-degree angle.
- Breathe out while pulling off your torso away from the ground.
- Hold yourself in that position to keep your core engaged.
- Breathe in as you gradually put yourself back at the starting position.
As stated, standard push-ups help target the triceps, pectoral and shoulder muscles. It helps strengthen your core and lower back muscles.
2. For Inclined Push-ups
Doing inclined push-ups using a push-up board is a good idea for challenging your body. You will need to place the board on a stable, elevated surface. Place your hand on the edge of the board. Put your feet back, ensure your legs are kept straight, and your arms are perpendicular to your body. Now, you will have to follow similar steps as in standard push-ups. Breathe in as you bring your chest to the edge of the board. Hold yourself in this position for a second. Exhale while bringing yourself to the starting position with your arms fully extended.
3. For Improving Your Shoulder Strength
Seated push-ups are the best way to improve your shoulder strength. For performing seated push-ups with a push-up board, you need to place the board on a seat with an even surface. To improve your stability, here are the steps you need to follow for push-ups in a seated position.
- Sit on the board on the bench with your arms at your side and your palms holding the handles of the push-up boards. Ensure your feet are resting comfortably on the ground and your knees are bent.
- Use your arm to lift your body while staying in the seated position. Your hips and butt should rise at least half an inch from the bench. Hold yourself for a second in that position.
- Lower your body back to the starting position and repeat the steps.
4. For Focusing On Your Back and Chest
Standard push-ups are good exercises for building chest muscle. You can also use the push-up board to perform wide-arm and inverted push-ups to target your chest muscles. The push-up board also allows you to do T-pushups. You simply need to start from the usual pushup position. Then, breathe out as you lift one hand off the ground in the air, thus making a T-shape.
You can also try performing feet-elevated push-ups using the push-up board. You just need to place your feet on an elevated yet stable platform and hold the handles of the push-up board as you usually do for standard push-ups. Putting your feet at a higher level helps target your chest, core, and scapular muscles.
5. It Doubles as Paralettes
Push-up boards allow you to use them for different exercises other than push-ups. For example, you can perform advanced gymnastic exercises using push-up boards as parallettes. Push-up boards also allow you to perform exercises like planche push-ups, L-sits, and handstands.
Handstands and planche push-ups are difficult to do for people with wrist pain. For such individuals, doing ground push-ups can put their wrists in a vulnerable position. A push-up board allows them to perform push-ups comfortably and safely.
What are the Advantages of Investing In a Push-Up Board?
1. They are pocket-friendly
Cost is surely a factor to consider before deciding whether or not to buy a push-up board. Push-up boards are not very expensive devices. You can get a wide range of push-up boards at a price range of 30-50 USD. So, if you are into fitness, push-up boards are a pretty good investment. Besides beginners, they are good for intermediates and experienced people too.
2. They are versatile
Another advantage of using a push-up board is that it offers a wide range of push-up variations than regular ground/ wall push-ups. Though you can try to do different types of push-ups on the ground, it increases the risk of wrist pain. A push-up board allows you to do narrow grip push-ups, wide grip push-ups, diamond push-ups, reverse grip push-ups, pike push-ups, L-sit, etc. in addition, push-up boards ensure better stability and safety while you perform push-ups.
3. They are beginner-friendly
Correct hand placements for push-ups can be difficult to manage for beginners. The in-built color-coded patterns on the push-up boards allow any beginner to get familiar with the different hand placements for targeting different regions of the body. In addition, the push-up board helps elevate the body to an angle so that you get more space to move in a range of motions. Improvement in the range of motion helps in better muscle gain and flexibility.
4. Good for home-gym
If you have a gym room, push-up boards are a pretty good investment. They are easy to assemble, so you can set them up yourself without much help. Buying push-up boards from good manufacturers ensure they are of good quality. Push-up boards made from high-end materials are long-lasting and provide good value for your money. Some push-up boards are compact and foldable and do not take up much storage space.
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5. They protect your wrists
Ground push-ups without any device often put your wrist in a compromising position. Inadequate wrist mobility and grip strength can cause wrist pain during or after performing push-ups. Push-up boards are specially designed to relieve your wrists from pressure. It aligns your hands, forearms, and wrists in a straight line, so your wrist does not receive unnecessary force.
What are the Disadvantages of a Push-Up Board?
1. They are pretty similar to Push-up Handles
Push-up boards share similar functions to push-up handles or push-up bars. If you already own a set of push-up handles, you might not need to invest in a push-up board. However, if you are a beginner, a color-coded push-up board can help you learn about hand placements better than push-up handles.
2. Occupies storage space
Though push-up boards are handy in home gyms, they can take up quite a bit of your storage space. However, some boards are foldable and much easier to store in your house.
3. Difficult to adjust hand placements
Using a push-up board might feel restrictive to people who prefer altering their hand placements to target different muscles. You cannot perform push-ups without attaching the handles that come with the push-up board, which means you have a few fixed options for hand placement. In addition, the board will not be of much use if you lose one of the handles, as funding replacements for them is pretty hard.
A Few Expert Tips To Follow While Using a Push-Up Board
Here are a few tips you can follow to use push-up boards safely and effectively:
- Avoid locking out your arms at the top of a movement to prevent taking away the tension from your target muscles and putting the force on your elbow.
- If you are new to push-ups, performing the exercises by balancing your lower body on your knees might be easier than balancing on your feet.
- To generate more power, you can grip the handles more tightly.
- Make sure your neck and spine are in a straight line while doing push-ups to avoid soreness.
- Keeping your core muscles and glutes braced throughout the exercise makes push-ups more effective.
- Breathing correctly is very important to get the full benefits of push-ups. So, make sure you breathe in while bringing your torso toward the floor and breathe out while moving upward.
- Avoid flaring your elbows too wide, as it puts excess pressure on the shoulders and rotator cuffs.
How to Use a Push-Up Board Correctly?
Using a push-up board might seem easy, but beginners will need some guidance. Here are a few tips for you to use the board correctly.
- Make sure to set up the board on an even surface.
- Then, you need to attach the handles securely in the appropriate color-coded positions. The color codes will help you decide which position is needed to target specific muscles.
- Once the push-up board is ready, all you need to do is grab the handles with a pronated grip to start with push-ups.
- Make sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line while doing push-ups.
- Then, you have to lower your body toward the push-up board so that there are only a few inches of distance between your shoulders and the handles.
- Pull yourself up to return to the starting position and pause to contract the target muscles.
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Who Should Use a Push-up Board?
A Push-up board is fit for all. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced push-up performer, a push-up board is suitable for all experience levels. While it helps a newbie to learn the correct technique and hand placements to perform push-ups, advanced performers can use it to challenge their body and boost their muscle gain by doing different push-up variations. Also, if you are too busy to find time to hit the gym, you can use it at home to do your daily share of workouts.
What are the Benefits of Doing Push-ups?
1. Help burn calories
Regular push-ups are a great way to boost your metabolic rate and accelerate your weight loss process. In a study, researchers have found that 10 weeks of resistance training with exercises like push-ups can significantly increase your metabolism and reduce body fat.
2. Improves your build and posture
Push-ups are quite an effective bodyweight movement to improve build and posture by targeting the pectoral muscles of your chest and triceps.
3. Improves flexibility
Regular push-up performers state that this exercise helps improve flexibility. When lowering the body towards the ground, it stretches the back muscles. Similarly, when pulling yourself up from the floor, your bicep muscles are stretched. As a result, it helps you attain greater flexibility in your back and biceps.
4. Enhances athletic performance
Doing push-ups regularly can be helpful for shoulder rehabilitation and improving proprioception, i.e., the perception of the body’s location, movement, and action. It can help improve muscle co-contraction for dynamic joint stability. This improved joint stability is essential for improving athletic performance. It also helps boost stamina and endurance.
5. Helps support bone health
Evidence suggests that resistance exercises like push-ups can improve your bone and muscle health. It is particularly beneficial for post-menopausal women who are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. A study has shown that undergoing a resistance training program, including push-ups, can help maintain wrist bone mineral density in women.
6. Contributes to core stability
Doing push-ups is an excellent way to engage your core muscles. It targets the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles, the muscles responsible for holding the body steady. With regular push-ups, the core muscles are strengthened, which in turn, helps improve core stability and balance.
7. May improve heart health
Push-ups can help reduce the risk of heart disease. A study has shown that heart health might have a link with one’s push-up capacity. Men who can perform 40 reps of push-ups enjoy a significantly lower risk of heart issues than men who do 10 reps of push-ups every day.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How many push-ups should I do daily?
Pro fitness enthusiasts often do more than 300 push-ups a day. But that requires extensive stamina and practice. Beginners usually begin with 10-20 push-ups every day. But, continuing the same push-up routine for a long time can make your body accustomed to it, and your muscles will stop growing. You need to challenge your body by increasing the reps. Any average individual can do up to 50-100 push-ups in their daily workout routine.
2. Are wall push-ups effective?
Wall push-ups are very effective for building upper body strength. They are easier than ground push-ups as the load due to gravitational pull is eliminated from your body. It targets the chest muscles, serratus anterior, triceps, and deltoids. It also focuses on the upper and lower back muscles and even the core muscles. Your wrists and shoulders also receive less pressure than standard ground push-ups. It is beneficial for people with weak wrist and shoulder pain.
3. What happens if you do push-ups every day?
Push-up is one of the best bodyweight exercises and has multiple benefits. It helps improve upper body strength, contributes to core stability, and boosts stamina. Performing push-ups regularly can also help build your muscle fibers and enhance bone and joint strength. Daily push-ups are a great way to increase your body’s overall endurance because it targets all your major muscles. It also helps boost metabolism and help in your weight loss journey.
However, doing push-ups regularly can wear you down and inflame your muscles. Your muscles might enter a plateau stage and stop growing. Thus, taking rest days in between your workout days is important.
4. Can push-ups help reduce belly fat?
Regular push-ups help you lose weight as it increases your metabolic rate. But, simply doing push-ups is not enough to burn the required amount of calories necessary for losing weight. Push-ups do not target your belly in any way. Thus, it does not help lose belly fat directly. However, you can combine a few sets of push-ups to make your weight loss regime more effective.
5. Does it hurt after push-ups?
Push-ups require your muscles to contract harder than regular exercises. Thus, muscle soreness is quite common. People who do push-ups regularly often cause neck, arm, and lower back soreness. It might also cause delayed-onset muscle soreness. Applying ice packs to tender spots, light stretching and massage, or common pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen and aspirin can help relieve the pain.
6. How long does it take to build muscle doing push-ups?
The rate of growing muscle fiber differs from person to person. According to the American Council on Exercise, with continued training with push-ups, it might take up to three to six months to gain new muscle fibers.
7. When should you do push-ups: morning or night?
You can do push-ups anytime you want. If you love waking up early to work out, morning push-ups are best for you. Or, if you are not an early riser and find time only in the evening, you can choose to do night push-ups. However, a study has shown that evening exercises might be more effective than morning exercises. It showed that people who work in the evening gain 7% greater upper body strength than those who work out in the morning.
8. Are rest days necessary for push-ups?
Yes. It is always necessary to let your body rest and recover after strenuous exercise. When you do push-ups, your muscle tissues undergo intense tension that makes the muscle tissues break down. Having rest periods allow your muscles to rebuild themselves. Experts recommend doing push-ups three to four times a week.
9. How many push-ups should you be able to do?
Push-up capacities vary from person to person. If you are experienced enough, you can do up to 250-300 push-up reps at a stretch. However, the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) has set up a basic male push-up standard. The following are the minimum number of push-ups an individual of each age group should be able to perform during basic training.
- Age 17 - 21: >= 35 consecutive push-ups
- Age 22 - 26: >= 31 consecutive push-ups
- Age 27 - 31: >= 30 consecutive push-ups
- Age 32 - 36: >= 26 consecutive push-ups
- Age 37 - 41: >= 24 consecutive push-ups
- Age 42 - 46: >= 21 consecutive push-ups
- Age 47 - 51: >= 16 consecutive push-ups
- Age 52 - 56: >= 11 consecutive push-ups
The Bottom Line:
Push-up is a versatile exercise that helps target different regions of your body. It is particularly beneficial for people trying to build up their upper body strength. Buying a push-up board can make your push-ups safer and more effective. For beginners, push-up boards are helpful for learning the proper technique for doing push-ups. Push-up boards also come color-coded, which helps you place the handles in different positions to perform multiple variations of push-ups. We hope this article has helped answer all your questions about push-up boards.
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