By performing the pushup on a set of mini dip bars known as paralettes, you can increase your range of motionresulting in greater muscle activation, says Mens Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S.
Plus, the bars give you a neutral grip that puts your shoulders in a stronger, more stable position than regular pushups , he says.
If you dont have paralettes handy, put a pair of dumbbells on a box or step and youll get the same effect. No box or step? Just use a heavier (i.e. bigger) set of dumbbells that will put more space between you and the ground to give you more range of motion.
Watch Gaddour demonstrate the exercise in the video above to see how to do it with proper technique.
Round your upper back at the top of the pushup for an added bonus: Thats going to really fire up your serratus anterior muscles, Gaddour says, referring to those coveted finger-like muscles that extend diagonally across the sides of your ribs.
Plug the paralette pushup into a circuit where youd normally do a push exercise, and do sets of as many reps as possible, he says. When youre ready for more of a challenge, pause for five seconds at the top and bottom of each rep.