August 01, 2022 8 min read
For men, fighting a flabby chest is a lifelong battle. The medicine ball push-up is a highly effective bodyweight exercise to help you build muscle in your pecs and triceps.
Traditional push-ups, the bench press, and dumbbell chest fly sometimes fail to achieve proper pectoral activation.
Often the majority of load gets put, improperly, on the shoulders and biceps. Incorporating a medicine ball or two, or a dumbbell, is a strength training hack for every man who wants to build his pectorals and triceps, and tone his chest.
The medicine ball push-up is more challenging than the basic push up. This bodyweight exercise is similar to the diamond push-up. The medicine ball, however, does provide an form advantage. Because of the spherical shape of the ball, it allows you to get a deeper press with more pectoral involvement and less shoulder involvement. It also allows you to get more reps in, due to the slight incline that it provides.
The medicine ball push-up also offers superior triceps activation than a standard shoulder-width push-up.
There are a few variations and progressions of the medicine ball push-up, which can add variety in your routine and help you push past your pectoral plateaus. There are also some regressions that will be discussed, to help prepare you for the medicine ball push-up. First, we will talk about the standard medicine ball push-up with one single medicine ball.
A medicine ball push-up traditionally uses a single ball with two hands. This is the easiest variation of the medicine ball push-up, and should be mastered first before attempting advanced movements such as the two handed medicine ball push-up, or the alternating medicine ball push-up.
To execute a standard medicine ball push-up:
If you’re looking to increase the intensity on this exercise, there are several ways to do it. Whether it’s adding another medicine ball, incorporating a stability ball, using dumbbells or turning it into a high intensity exercise. There is probably a way to make the medicine ball push-up or alternative close grip push-up work for you.
The two-armed medicine ball push-up adds a proprioceptive challenge due to the unstable surface that involves supporting yourself on two balls. This is better with two smaller medicine balls, because only one hand goes on each ball.
How to do a two-armed medicine ball push-up:
If you’re looking to increase the cardio and mobility challenge of this workout, then the alternating medicine ball push-up is for you. This is an advanced movement, and it should only be attempted after the two-armed medicine ball and the single medicine ball push-ups are both mastered. This is a great exercise to incorporate in a full-body circuit training work out.
To perform the alternating medicine ball push-up:
If you really want to take your medicine ball push-up to the next level, then upgrade to a stability ball. Stability balls are the large inflatable balls that you see at every gym. Most of them time stability balls are used as tools to make certain exercises easier. In this case, the stability ball push-up is, ironically, a less stable version of the medicine ball push-up.
To perform a stability ball push-up:
If you have trouble with the unstable nature of the medicine ball, don’t fret! You can always regress the movement until you’re ready to do medicine ball push-ups. There are a few ways to do it. Most of them involve ditching the medicine ball.
Dumbbells can effectively be used in place of a medicine ball. Thus, we have the dumbbell diamond push-up. If you are working out at home and do not have access to a medicine ball, this is your best alternative. However, even if you have access to medicine balls, you still might want to consider a dumbbell push-up.
How to perform dumbbell diamond push-up:
The two-armed dumbbell push-up, or commonly referred to as simply a “dumbbell push-up,” is essentially a push-up with your arms and chest at an incline. If your weights are suited for this, this could be an excellent alternative to traditional incline push-ups. There is little stability challenge in this one, compared to the stability balls. It provides just enough of an incline to remain challenging in advanced strength training.
How to perform a two-armed dumbbell push-up:
The medicine ball push-up is an excellent tool for getting pectoral engagement when the bench press, seated chest press and cable fly aren’t enough.
Medicine ball push-ups are also a great hack for superior triceps engagement.
The medicine ball can also be used to assist diamond push-ups, making them easier to knock out higher reps. Traditional diamond push-ups, which are done on the floor, can be difficult to accomplish with a complete range of motion.
The medicine ball adds an incline, thereby decreasing the amount of range of motion needed.
You get the pec engagement that you want, without the sloppy form that comes with exhausting yourself with diamond push-ups. Improving your push-ups will improve your pectorals and triceps activation. This translates to gains on the bench press.
This study suggests that push-up performance and bench press performance are correlated so much that push-ups can be used to predict your one rep max bench press.
The medicine ball-push up will result in noticeable physical changes in your body. This advanced bodyweight exercise will tone up the pectorals and allow you to wear your fat better. Although pectorals training exercises help, growing unwanted fat in the chest may related to hormonal imbalance and low testosterone. For a testosterone boost that helps you get the body and energy levels that you want, try ALPHA-AF.
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When you’re doing everything you can to build muscle and create a big, lean chest, you want to use every tool in your arsenal, and that includes targeting your nutrition first.
The medicine ball push-up has the potential to get sloppy. The unstable nature of a sphere on a flat surface alone increases the muscular challenge.
3 common form mistakes to avoid are:
The medicine ball push-up is just one of many great chest exercises that you can incorporate into your weekly chest building routine.
The medicine ball is a valuable tool that you can incorporate into our basic push-up. The power of the sphere is demonstrated in its ability to force adjustments to our form.
The medicine ball push-up is a fantastic alternative to the close grip barbell bench press and the diamond push-up. The medicine ball can help you overcome PR plateaus and help you build a chest you’re proud of.