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If you'd rather walk across a bed of hot coals than do push-ups, you're in good company. They're great for toning and strengthening the chest muscles, shoulders, triceps and core, but aside from their difficulty, it's not always convenient to drop to the floor to do them.
So, if you're looking to tone your arms, here are a few substitutes you can try. Each one works generally the same muscles as push-ups, but they're a bit more fun.
Think of this as a vertical push-up. Stand facing a wall and place your hands on it in a push-up position. Bend your elbows in order to bring yourself closer to the wall, then "push off." Do 5 reps (5 times out, 5 times in) and move your hands more and more outward as you go.
Floor chest fly
Lie on the floor with your feet flat, knees bent. Hold onto two dumbbells or water bottles and raise them straight up over your chest, palms facing together. Slowly lower the weights out to each side by keeping elbows slightly bent all the way down, as if hugging a big tree. Pause at the bottom (without resting your elbows on the floor) and bring them back up together. Repeat 12 to 15 times for 2 to 3 sets.
Standing tubing punches (you'll need light to medium exercise tubing)
Anchor the center of the tubing into a door hinge or a sturdy object and stand facing away from the anchor point, holding onto each end of the tubing (tubing with handles on each end works best). Take a staggered stance (one foot in front of the other) for balance; keep your chest up and high as you alternately "punch" one arm and then the other forward as if using a punching bag, all the while keeping your abs and core tight. Continue alternating back and forth for 15 to 20 reps; rest and repeat.
Do these three exercises as part of your upper body workout 2-3 times a week for push-up results without the pain.
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