Try these simple pushup variations to build upper body strength and maintain your independence longer.
If you want to maintain your independence longer, then you can't forget about upper body workouts. These moves offer similar strength-boosting benefits as the standard pushup. You can pick two or three to add to your weekly routine, or simply pick one to swap in for pushups whenever a workout calls for them.
Tandem Wall Pushup
Start facing the wall in a split-stance. Split-stance means one leg steps forward with knee slightly bent, while your other leg remains straight. The split stance allows you to engage your leg strength to help support your upper body with these moves.
Next, press your fingertips to the wall with arms spread wide. Lean in, moving your palms and elbows toward the wall. Then, slowly push yourself away. Try it again but switch the position of split-stance, with your alternate leg in front this time. Try a few reps on each side as many times as you like.
Start in the same split-stance position with your fingertips on the wall, but this time, bring your hands closer together. Lean in, pushing your palms and elbows closer to the wall, then push yourself back. You should feel this move working your triceps. Try a few of these Tandem Wall Pushups alternating your split-stance position.
Stand facing the wall with your feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Place your fingertips on the wall with a wide distance between them. Lean forward, bringing your palms flat to the surface. Then, push yourself back to standing. You'll feel this move engaging and strengthening your shoulders, triceps and chest.
Make it easier: Stand closer to the wall before you begin the pushup variation.
Make it more challenging: Stand a little farther away from the wall.
Face the wall with your feet spread apart at a comfortable distance. This time place your hands on the wall in front of your shoulders. As you lean toward the wall, let your elbows touch the surface. Then gently push away. You should feel this exercise in your triceps and upper back.
Single Leg Pushup
Facing the wall, lift one of your feet from the floor and hold. Spread your arms out wide and place your hands on the wall. Make sure to keep your chest up. Lean towards the wall and then push yourself back. You don't have to touch the wall with your elbows in this position, just gently lean in, then push out. This wall pushup variation works both your upper and lower body. Alternate between each leg every few reps.
Hold one foot off the floor, bring your hands to the wall aligning with your shoulders. Bend your elbows and lean in towards the wall. Then, slowly push yourself back to standing. Bringing your arms closer together increases the ability to strengthen both your triceps and upper back.
Make it easier: Instead of lifting one foot from the ground, bring your foot back a bit and point your toe to the ground. This is the kickstand and it will help you maintain balance while still building strength in your lower body.
When getting down on the floor is difficult, or just not preferred, try these simple tweaks to the standard pushup to maintain your upper body strength. You can also get a great total body workout in a chair, try this 15-minute routine.
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