If you've done a push-up before trying out the Iron Gym, you'll be right at home. If you've never done a push-up at all, you'll find it an easily accessible exercise that packs a whole lot of workout into a streamlined movement. So you're just about covered either way.
Though the Iron Gym aims to help you stabilize your exercise and add a bit more range of motion (kind of like push-up handles), doing a push-up with this simple piece of equipment is just about identical to doing a push-up flat on the ground, complete with all the available grip-width variations.
The Basic Push-Up
While the Iron Gym usually lives in the door frame for pull-ups, detach it from the door and place it flat on the ground for push-ups. With your back straight, your core tightened, and your toes touching the ground, grab the arched bar grips with your palms facing inward. Start with your body elevated, supporting your upper-body weight with your arms. This sets you up for a push-up with a normal grip width.
Slowly lower your body until your chest makes contact with the bar, making sure to keep your neck straight. Inhale as you lower, then exhale as you rise again to complete one repetition. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form, resting between three to five sets of push-ups and variations or other upper-body or abdominal workouts.
With a standard push-up, you're targeting the pecs, but you're also tightening the abs and obliques, working the back and engaging arm muscles like the biceps, triceps and deltoids.
Grip Variations (and Benefits)
Think of the different grips on the Iron Gym as markers for various grip-width push-up variations — when you change your hand position, you'll target different muscles more intensely.
For instance, hold on to the inner bar grips for a narrow-grip push-up, a variation that puts additional focus on the triceps. For a wide grip, use the outer bars instead. This increases the intensity while putting less focus on the shoulders and more on the chest and triceps.
For a more challenging workout, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and personal trainer Marc Perry recommends starting with a wide grip, then moving to a regular and narrow grip as you progress through your sets.