Challenge your upper body and core strength with this push up workout. This upper body workout targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, back and core using dumbbells. The ultimate challenge: complete 100 push ups by the end of this strength and conditioning workout.
You’ll complete ten sets of ten push ups throughout the workout for a total of 100 push ups. There are several push up variations you can try today – perform standard push ups with us, or take them from an incline.
Push Up Workout FAQs
What Is A Push Up?
Push ups are one of the most challenging body weight exercises because they’re a total body exercise, emphasizing the chest, arms and core. There are many ways to modify or progress a push up. Beginners can add an incline to push ups by placing their hands on an elevated surface, like a chair or bench. More advanced athletes might try plyometric push ups or other advanced variations. The push up is a great compound exercise as it engages many muscle groups at once.
Should You Do Push Ups Every Day?
Push ups use your bodyweight as resistance, making them a versatile and functional exercise that can be done anywhere. By building strength in your upper body and core, push ups can improve your posture. That said, a well-rounded exercise routine will include a variety of training.
How Many Push Ups Should You Do In A Workout?
That depends on your fitness goals! Start where you are and do what you can. Today’s workout will challenge you to complete 100 push ups, but it’s important to complete them with good form. Start with a variation to build upper body and core strength. I recommend adding an incline by placing your hands on a countertop, bench or box. Find tips to improve your push up form here.
30-Minute Push Up Workout (MetCon, Day 2)
Build upper body strength at home using just a set of dumbbells in this push up workout.
This metabolic conditioning workout challenges you to complete 100 push ups. We’ll target the chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, back and core in this workout.
I suggest doing this push up workout once a week as part of a well-rounded workout routine.
A medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells. Optional bench/box.
I suggest anywhere from 8-25 lbs. We’re using 10-20 lb dumbbells in this workout.
Targets: Chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and core muscles.
How To Do A Standard Push Up
Start in a standard high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, weight evenly distributed amongst all 10 fingers. Pull your kneecaps up towards your belly, feet hip-width apart. Option to place your hands on weights if you have wrist pain.
Hold this plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
Slowly lower your chest down towards the ground as your elbows fall back towards your hips (not out to the sides, keep elbows tight to the body).
Once at the bottom of your push up, exhale as you push back up into high plank position (top of your push up position).
Modification: Substitute incline push-ups by placing your hands on a chair or bench; or drop to your knees for modified push ups.
V-Sit Alternating Shoulder Press
Targets: Shoulders and arms, hips and core.
How To Do A V-Sit Alternating Shoulder Press
Start sitting flat on your mat, sending the legs straight out in front of you, forming a “V” shape with your legs. Hold a pair of dumbbells front racked at your shoulders.
Engage your core and exhale as you press the dumbbell in the right hand directly overhead, performing a single arm shoulder press on the right arm.
With control, lower the dumbbell to shoulder height, returning to the starting position.
Then alternate, performing a single arm shoulder press on the left arm.
Targets: Latissimus dorsi (or lats; the largest back muscle known for its large, flat “V” shape).
How To Do A Back Row
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing in towards each other.
Hinge forward at the hips until your body is in a straight line, neck in line with your spine, flat back, and belly button pulled back towards your spine.
Pull the weights back towards your hips, elbows high to the sky. Feel your shoulder blades squeeze together.
With control, slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Think up on a one-count, down slow and controlled on a two-count.
Targets: Both the short head and long head of the biceps (upper arms), the brachialis (mid-arm) and brachioradialis (forearm).
How To Do A Flip Grip Bicep Curl
Start with feet under hips, core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing outward (underhand grip or supine curl).
Keeping your elbows locked by your sides, squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height.
At the top of the movement, rotate your hands so palms face in towards each other (dumbbell hammer curl). With control, slowly lower the dumbbells down to your sides.
At the bottom of your movement, flip your grip so palms face out again. Return to the starting position and repeat this movement.
Targets: Chest muscles, both the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor.
How To Do A Dumbbell Chest Fly
Lay flat on your back (on the ground, on a bench, or on a stability ball) with one dumbbell in each hand, arms extended above your shoulders, palms facing in towards each other. Press your feet firmly into the floor.
Inhale as you slowly open your arms, lowering the dumbbells in a wide arc until they reach shoulder level (or the ground). Your elbows should remain soft and not over-extended (slight bend in the elbows).
Exhale as you pull the dumbbells back to starting position, squeeze your chest muscles together. Keeping your chest puffed out and your elbows slightly bent.
Targets: Triceps and core.
How To Do A Dumbbell Skull Crusher
Lie flat on the ground or on a bench or stability ball; legs bent at 90 degrees.
Hold one dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms so the dumbbells are directly overhead (palms facing one another).
Bending at the elbows, slowly lower the dumbbells towards your head (just bending at the elbows, lowering the dumbbells towards your temples).
Then press the dumbbells back overhead to return to the starting position.
Single Arm Push Press
Targets: The deltoid muscles (shoulder muscles) while also strengthening the hips and core as they stabilize an uneven load.
How To Do A Single Arm Push Press
Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, core engaged. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand at shoulder height, palm facing in (neutral grip).
Perform a single arm overhead press. Press the dumbbell in your right hand overhead, locking out the right elbow by the right ear. Option to bend the knees an inch or two to help you drive the dumbbell overhead.
Slowly lower the dumbbell back down towards the right shoulder and repeat. Switch sides on the next set.
Bird Dog and Back Row
Targets: Upper, mid, and lower back, lats, glutes, hamstrings, abs and core.
Bonus: unilateral exercises (single-sided exercises) like this single arm dumbbell row also work the abs and core.
How To Do A Bird Dog Back Row
Find a quadruped position with your knees hip-width apart and hands firmly on the ground, about shoulder-width apart. Engage your core. Have one dumbbell on the ground in front of your left hand. Option to perform a bird dog row from a box or bench to increase core engagement and get greater range of motion.
Find a bird dog position by sending your opposite (right) leg back, floating it off the ground.
Perform a single arm row with your left arm, pulling the dumbbell back toward your left hip.
Modification: Take the row from a quadruped position (in tabletop) rather than from bird dog.
Alternating Crossbody Curls
Targets: The biceps (upper arms), the brachialis (mid-arm) and brachioradialis (forearm).
How To Do Alternating Crossbody Curls
Start with feet under hips, core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in.
While keeping your palms facing in and without twisting your arm, curl the dumbbell in the right hand up towards your left shoulder.
Hold for a moment, then slowly lower the dumbbell in your right arm back down to your side, taking the same path.
Repeat, this time curling the dumbbell in the left hand up towards your right shoulder.
Targets: The lateral and medial heads of your triceps.
How To Do Tricep Dips
Grip the edge of a chair or bench, fingertips pointed toward your butt or toes, elbows bent. Note, you can also perform tricep dips sitting on the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your hands behind you (fingertips facing your butt).
Keeping your back close to the chair, lower yourself, bending at the elbows until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle.
Press through your palms, using your triceps to push you back up to starting position. Note that the closer your feet are to the bench, the easier the tricep dips will be.
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