Pushups help strengthen your shoulders, arms and chest muscles. This exercise also works secondary muscles like the abs, glutes, quadriceps, lower back and deltoids. Beginners may find it difficult to perform a standard pushup, but there are variations you can use to build strength and eventually work your way up to performing standard pushups. The basic pushup position puts your neck, back and legs in a straight line while your hands hold your body off the floor. Modified pushups will help to strengthen the muscles required to hold this position, progressively increasing your strength over a period of weeks.
Do 10 modified T pushups. Begin by getting in the pushup position on your hands and knees. Keep your back and neck aligned and your arms straight out toward the floor. Bring your right arm straight out toward the ceiling while rotating your body to the side; hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Do 10 reps on each side. Rest for one to two minutes before starting the next exercise.
Assume the same modified pushup position as before on your hands and knees. While keeping your head and back in a straight line, lower your body toward the floor but don't go all the way down. Slowly lift and lower your body for a total of five repetitions. Rest for one minute and then repeat.
Get in the modified pushup position once again. With your hands holding your body up, lift your right hand a few inches off the ground for a two-count. Return your right hand to the floor, and then lift your left hand for a two-count. Repeat until you've completed 10 reps on each side.
Complete this modified pushup workout up to three times per week with at least a day of rest in between. As it becomes easier, add a set to each exercise. After about two months, try implementing a set of eight to 10 standard pushups.
Add a few reps to one or several of the exercises each week to progressively strengthen your chest, arms and shoulders.
If you experience any chronic muscle soreness or fatigue, you may be over-working yourself. Take extra time to rest and consider using fewer reps/sets.