The pushup is a full-body exercise that tones many muscles. However, the pushup is considered an advanced exercise that many people find difficult to perform. Fortunately, there are exercises that have the same effect as the pushup but that you may find easier to do.
Dumbbell Chest Press
The dumbbell chest press is an exercise comparable to the pushup in movement. This exercise will tone your shoulders, chest and triceps. To perform the dumbbell press, first start by sitting on a bench with the dumbbells resting on your legs. Lean back and slowly lower the weights to the sides of your chest. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees. Press the dumbbells up over your chest and squeeze your pectoral muscles. Lower the weights back down to 90 degrees. Do not go too low on this exercise as it can strain your shoulders. While you're lying on your back, don't let your elbows drop below the horizontal line of your body. Once you complete the set, rest the dumbbells on your thighs, and slowly sit back up. Control the momentum of the weights so as to not allow them to torque on your shoulders.
This exercise is similar to a dumbbell chest press except you are using a barbell instead of a pair of dumbbells. This exercise is an effective alternative to a pushup because you can lift more weight in comparison to a dumbbell press. To perform a bench press, lie down on a bench with the bar properly secured above you. Place your palms on the bar a little wider then shoulder width. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and lift the bar from the safety brackets and bring it over your chest. Slowly lower the bar towards your chest and bend your elbows out to your side. Press the bar back up over your chest while exhaling.
The plank is an isometric exercise that tones the same muscle groups of a pushup such as the arms, shoulders, abs and legs. Start by getting down on your hands and knees. Place your forearms and palms on the ground. Lift up your body off the ground by using your forearms and toes. Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground. Hold this position for 10 to 60 seconds.