If you’re short on time or looking for an extra exercise that will strengthen both the upper and lower body, incorporate wall pushups into your daily workout. Wall pushups are super convenient in that they can be done almost anywhere and at any time. No need for fancy equipment or the expense of a gym. Just find a wall and get to work.
Besides being flexible, wall pushups are easy to do and are great for creating upper body strength, growing and strengthening shoulders and building lower body strength (especially the calves). There are also some variations that can be practiced, which alter the level of difficulty so you can control your wall push up workout. This versatile exercise can be done alone as a separate part of a strength training program or it can be performed as a warm up to weight training or aerobic workouts.
How to do Wall Push Ups
Wall pushups are accomplished from a standing position so there’s no need to get down on the floor. Simply stand a couple of feet away from a wall that is clear of objects with your feet positioned about shoulder-width apart. Reach out your arms and place your palms flat on the wall ensuring that your feet stay flat on the floor with your legs straight.
Now, complete a push up by bending your arms until your face almost touches the wall and straighten your arms to return you to the starting position.
How to Work Your Upper Body
Perform wall pushups like described above. Once you get accustomed to the distance of around 2 feet, move your feet farther away from the wall. This will create a greater lean angle, which in turn, will place more body weight against your working upper body muscles.
Wall pushups are a good exercise to strengthen and add definition to your chest, arms and shoulders. When you increase the distance of your feet to three feet or more from the wall, you place additional strengthening force on your forearms, triceps and biceps.
In order to increase shoulder strength and workout the stabilizer muscles better, place a Swiss ball against the wall and perform wall pushups while leaning against the ball. This will cause the muscles surrounding your main muscle group to work harder since they are activated for balancing. Also, using a Swiss ball more efficiently increases shoulder strength and is one of the shoulder rehabilitation exercises used by the Sports Injury Clinic.
How to Work Your Lower Body
The advantage of wall pushups over regular pushups is that you can also workout your lower body while performing them. Instead of keeping your legs straight, which better works out the upper body, bend your legs at the knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. By bending your knees while performing wall pushups, you are causing your leg muscles to work harder in order to support your body weight during the exercise. This is especially good for strengthening the calf muscles.
You can increase the intensity of your lower body workout by placing one leg a step closer to the wall during the pushup exercise. This position will add more intense stretching of the leg muscles. Complete one set with one leg forward and then another set with the other leg forward. This position is especially good for stretching and warming the leg muscles prior to a jog or treadmill run.