Some of us are subject to not being able to do a push-up, whether this is due to having a shoulder or elbow injury or not being quite strong enough yet. Whatever it may be, you probably find yourself frustrated time and time again when you see push-ups listed in a workout and are unsure of what you can do instead. Instead of thinking that push-ups are holding you back, it is time to focus on what you can do instead!
Here are 3 exercises that you can easily swap out for push-ups –
Side planks can be super beneficial when it comes to strengthening the shoulders. Side planks are also great at challenging the stabilizing muscles in your shoulder too that could be not as strong too. Doing side planks can help strengthen both the shoulders and their stabilizing muscles.
How to Perform a side plank:
- Lay on your mat on one of your sides.
- Place your hand underneath your shoulder and stack your feet on top of one another.
- Now press through your hand and lift your hips off of the ground. Ideally, you want your whole body in a straight line.
- If you need to modification, drop your bottom knee down or take the top leg and cross over.
- Hold for 30 seconds before side planking on the other side
- Try performing these three times through on each side.
Bear Crawls are a great alternative to push-ups because they are not as straining on one particular muscle group but still provide the challenge needed to strengthen your chest and shoulders. They are also great at helping out your mobility too because if you can’t crawl across the floor and look silly while doing it, then we don’t know what you can do!
- Start in plank position checking to make sure your shoulders are stacked over your wrists.
- Keep your hips low as you can while crawling forward reaching with your left hand as you step forward with your right foot simultaneously before stepping forward with your right hand and left foot. Just like how a bear walks on all fours.
- Crawl across the room, then reverse and crawl backward.
- Do this for about 45 to 60 seconds straight, if possible.
- Repeat at least three times.
Forearm Wall Push-Up
Sure you can do push-ups on the wall and maybe you have already been doing plenty of them, but have you ever done a forearm wall push-up? These are great at strengthening the triceps, shoulders, and chest, while also challenging your core a bit.
- Start by standing facing a wall and place your elbows and palms flush against the wall with your hands on the wall.
- Place your first finger and thumb making a diamond shape on the wall.
- Now take a few steps back so that your weight is supported from elbow to palm.
- When you are ready, press through your hands and forearms to extend your arms straight, straightening your elbows.
- Then slowly start bending your elbows back to starting position.
- Make sure you are slowing pushing off and lowering back down. This is all about quality over quantity.
- Then, extend your elbows out and back slowly.