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An Alternative To Push Ups

Posted Mar 11 2009 3:02pm
Photo Courtesy Of Flickr

Photo Courtesy Of Flickr

I received a question from one of my readers in my email a few days ago and found that it is something that I deal with quite a bit when training my clients, so decided to post it here for other people that experience the same problem.

I have a question about push-ups. I have really bad carpal tunnel in my left wrist and everytime I have it in the position to do a push-up or any type of yoga using my wrist, it is impossible and hurts like crazy. Can you suggest an alternative position or exercise that would work just as well as a push-up?

Thank you so much,

First of all Jill, I will tell you that you are not alone in this. I have even went through a period when I first started doing the boot camp workouts, where my wrists were very sore for a while. What did I do? Well, since I knew I had no real injury or problem, I just keep pushing on through it and it eventually went away. As the muscles and my wrists got stronger, the pain just subsided. BUT, just to let you know how I knew it wasn’t an injury, the pain would last throughout the workout but then subsided shortly afterwards, which showed me that it was just something I had to push through.

Here are some other suggestions for those of you with wrist problems. I have 2 clients in my boot camp class with carpel tunnel and they have used a small brace, sort of like a lifting glove, but that wraps around their wrist and it has made a huge difference. They started out doing push ups against the wall, but are now doing them on their toes, on the floor! Yes, their wrists have greatly improved, along with having that support.

Another client I will have her do push ups on a chair, so that her wrists can bend at a different angle than straight and she has had no problem with doing them that way either.

But there are alternative exercises to push ups, that work the same muscles, but in a different way.

1. First there is the chest press, using dumbells. You can do a chest press many different ways to work your chest. Incline chest press, decline chest press or flat press. I would do all 3 of them to make sure to work the different chest muscles.

2. Another exercise would the pullups. Those will work the upper back muscles that you are working during a push up.

3. Chin ups are another great alternative. Again working the back muscles.

But in my honest opinion, nothing will ever be better than a good ol’ push up. It’s just the ultimate upper body exercise and works your abs at the same gime and  if you can work your way up to adding them, if even in small numbers, I would say it will benefit you in the long run! Until then, try the other exercises I suggested and good luck!

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