Traditional push-ups are great, but several trainers said negative push-ups are really the way to go. They "strengthen the chest, shoulders, upper back, and triceps when done with correct alignment and proper form," said Karen L. Arceneaux, an NASM-certified personal trainer at Ailey Extension. In this variation, "you start at the top of the push-up position and slowly lower the body down."
- Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Extend your legs behind you, coming onto your toes to come into a high plank position. Pull your core in toward your spine and make sure your shoulders and wrists are still aligned. This is your starting position.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows, slowly lowering your entire body all the way to the ground. This should be done very slowly, over the course of two to four seconds. Allow your shoulder blades to pinch in toward your spine and make sure to keep your core tight. Do your best not to let your torso collapse, making sure your whole body touches the floor at the same time.
- Return to the high plank starting position. You can either push yourself up with your arms like a push-up, or get on your hands and knees and reset. The point of the negative push-up is to emphasize the movement down to the ground, not the push back up.
- This counts as one rep. To modify, do this with your knees on the floor.