If I could pick one upper body move that works your entire upper body and can be done almost anywhere it would have to be the push-up. The great thing about this exercise is that it requires no equipment and can be regressed (on knees or an elevated surface) and progressed as your strength increases. Here are some push-up variations that I like…
1. Triceps Push-up: Hands right below shoulders, keeping arms tucked on the way down to the floor and then push back up
2. T-Push-up: Perform a regular push-up and then as you come up, roll onto your side in a side plank position with upper arm in the air (your body will be forming a “T”.) Perform another push-up and then do a side plank on the opposite side.
3. Spiderman Push-up: As you come down into the push-up, bring knee to same elbow then push back up and repeat on opposite side.
4. Negative Push-up: Start in push-up position and lower yourself slowly to the ground. Hold the down position for as long as possible before coming back up.
5. Military Push-up: Come all the way down to the floor in this style of push-up, raise arms above head as you lie down on the floor on your stomach and then raise yourself back up off the floor for one repetition. Be careful not to “peel” your body off the floor in this one, but keep your body straight and in line as you come up.
And remember if you can’t quite do push-ups on your feet yet, try doing them either on your knees or place your hands on an elevated surface until your strength improves!