If you’re looking to get a little more out of your push-ups, then staggered push ups are the answer. This exercise is a variation of the traditional push up.
By setting up staggered hand placement, you’re targeting your chest, back, arms, and core all at once.
The staggered positioning makes this variation so effective—it forces you to use more of the muscles in these areas, giving you an excellent upper body workout.
Let’s look at the steps to take to perform the staggered push ups properly.
HOW TO DO STAGGERED PUSH UPS PROPERLY
- Go down on all fours and stretch your legs backwards. Place your hands and feet about shoulder-width apart. Place one hand in front of the other (staggered). Push yourself up and maintain a straight body from your head to heels. This is your starting position.
- Brace your core and then inhale and lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor. Pause for like a second, exhale and then push yourself up to the starting position.
- Interchange your hand’s position and repeat this throughout your exercise.
- Repeat until you have completed the desired number of reps.
- If this feels too easy, you can increase the difficulty by placing your feet on an elevated surface. This will make it more challenging because you will not be able to use as much leg drive to help you with each rep.
WHAT MUSCLES DO STAGGERED PUSH UPS WORK?
The staggered push ups work your deltoids, triceps, core muscles, and chest.
Your triceps make up 2/3 of the muscle that sits behind your upper arm. Triceps are key in basic motor skills like grasping and slicing.
Staggered push ups improve your shoulder stability, increasing flexibility and range of motion.
The deltoids are a group of three muscles in your shoulder area, and you use them to lift and rotate your arm.
Strong deltoids create more stability on the shoulder joints. They also improve sturdiness in your upper body.
The core is a group of muscles that wraps around the midsection of your body, connecting your upper and lower body, supporting your internal organs and helping with balance.
A strong core can also help improve your posture, balance and stability. It also boosts your athlete’s performance.
Chest muscles are those big, round muscles that stick out from your breastbone. They’re mostly made up of the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles, which are attached to your collarbone.
Exercising the chest muscles boosts your metabolism and keeps your posture intact. In addition, they improve your breathing and allow you to work with heavy loads.
The arm muscles are composed of the triceps brachii, biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis.
Exercising these muscles helps tone your arm and increase muscle mass. Also, it adds strength which helps stabilize your joints and prevent injuries.
STAGGERED PUSH UPS BENEFITS
DEVELOP YOUR CORE STRENGTH
The core muscles help to support your spine and body. On the other hand, a weak core can lead to back problems and poor posture.
When you complete a staggered push-up, you rely on your core muscles to maintain and balance your body on the two points of contact with the floor (your palms).
If you do this regularly, it will start strengthening those core muscles.
BUILD UP AND STRENGTHEN YOUR CHEST MUSCLES
Staggered push ups are among the best exercises for building up muscle mass in your chest and arms. If you do this exercise regularly, you will notice a significant difference in your appearance.
In addition, this exercise helps strengthen your chest muscles, improve your posture, and your back muscles. A strong chest also improves your breathing and the ability to lift and push heavy things.
INCREASES YOUR UPPER-BODY STRENGTH
Staggered push ups exercise is very effective at increasing upper body strength. A solid upper body helps improve balance and coordination, thus increasing your stability, mobility and flexibility. Furthermore, it helps improve your performance during sports and other physical activities.
In addition, a strong upper body will decrease the risk of injuries during workouts, sports or your daily activities.
ALTERNATIVES TO STAGGERED PUSH UPS
Here are two great exercises you can try as alternatives to staggered push ups.
Mountain climbers are excellent cardio exercises that can help you lose weight and tone your entire body. It’s a classic calisthenics exercise that works the muscles in your arms, legs, chest, abs, and back.
- Start in a plank position.
- Draw one knee towards the opposite elbow with your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Kick the leg back out to return to starting position, then switch legs so that the other leg draws towards the opposite elbow.
- Continue this movement for 30 seconds to 1 minute, keeping your core tight and not letting your hips sag toward the floor.
SINGLE-ARM DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS
The single-arm dumbbell chest press is a variation of the traditional dumbbell bench press. It helps build your chest muscles and aids in the development of general strength. It also works your shoulders, arms and core muscles.
- Lie flat on a bench with a dumbbell in one hand.
- Place your feet flat on the floor with a 90 degrees bend. Then draw your shoulders down, brace your core and slightly arch your back. Place your free hand on your stomach to maintain needed tension.
- Extend the arm holding the dumbbell straight above you and ensure you don’t lock out your elbow completely. Hold for a second, then lower your arm slowly to 45 degrees. Inhale.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps, then switch arms and repeat for the same number of reps on the other side
STAGGERED PUSH UPS MISTAKES TO AVOID
NOT USING PROPER FORM
Not using the proper form happens when you let your upper body fall towards the floor when you’re tired or distracted.
Don’t allow your hips to dip or raise as you move through the exercise. Also, remember to keep your abs tight and your head up. Letting this happen can lead to injuries, and also, you’ll not be able to enjoy the full benefits of performing the staggered push ups exercise correctly.
NOT WARMING UP
Warming up is one of the most important things you can do before starting any workout. It helps increase blood flow and helps prevent injury from sudden movements. Additionally, warming up enables you to perform the exercise correctly, hence enjoying the full benefits of the staggered push ups.
GOING TOO FAST
We know you’re eager to get those muscles building! It’s tempting to go as fast as possible through your reps to get through all of them.
Unfortunately, you’re likely skimping on form without realizing it if you do this for staggered push ups.
Go slow enough that you feel like it’s a workout—if it doesn’t feel like work at all; you’re probably rushing through the reps.