The close-grip pushup is a valuable addition to your training routine that can help to pump up your arms, but are you sure you’re even doing the exercise correctly?
For this movement, you shouldn’t settle for anything other than perfect form—especially because it’s such a killer exercise that can serve as a highlight of your training plan. Let Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and associate fitness editor Brett Williams guide you through the move’s subtleties, saving you from the bad habits that are keeping you from unlocking your fitness potential.
Before you hit the floor and start pumping yourself up and down, take note that it’s extremely important to pay attention the movement here. Hitting the proper form is essential to make sure you’re getting the most out of the exercise—particularly because of the subtle details with the right hand placement that make it really effective. Let’s break down everything you need to know.
Always Walk the Plank
Eb says: Like any good pushup, a close-grip pushup starts with strong plank form. The more rigid your torso is and the more you create a straight line from shoulders through feet, the more load you’re actually going to have to push up.
A sagging core means you don’t get to challenge your tris as much. So start with a sturdy plank, and squeeze your abs and glutes to keep it sturdy throughout every rep.
Diamonds Are Not Your Best Friend
Eb says: You’ll see a lot of people bring their hands close to each other, so they touch and form a diamond shape; they think this is the only way to stimulate their tris. Don’t do that.
Remember: Your triceps is responsible for extending your arm at the elbow, so all you need to do on your pushups to prioritize your tris is keep your elbows from flaring out so you don’t over-involve your chest. To do that, simply set your hands up ever-so-slightly tighter than shoulder-width.
Eb says: The key thing that makes the close-grip pushup different from a standard pushup is what you’re going to do with your elbows. To insure that the triceps drive the press up, we want to keep your chest as under-involved as possible.
Do that by keeping your elbows practically glued to your torso both as your lowering into the rep and then, more importantly, as you’re pressing up. Aim to let your arms move only in the sagittal plane (so out in front of you). The more you stick to that, the more you’ll be isolating your triceps for maximum growth.
Want to master even more moves? Check out our entire Form Check series.
Source: Read Full Article