Push-ups are a great body-weighted exercise to build your chest and shoulder, biceps and triceps muscles. Unfortunately, although they challenge your pecs they can also be extremely tough on your wrists. Many women find push-ups difficult and painful on their wrists and as a result often shy away from this effective and efficient upper body move. Fortunately, there are options. Propping yourself up on a pair of dumbbells is a great solution to this common problem because it places your wrist joints in a more neutral position, alleviating the compression.
Not only are dumbbell push-ups more forgiving on your wrists, but they also up the ante of a classic push-up by increasing the activation of your core, back, triceps and rear deltoids. So the next time your wrists are too tender to do push-ups or you just want a more core-challenging version, try the dumbbell push-up.
Target Muscles: pectoralis major
Set Up: Lie prone on a mat with a dumbbell placed just wide of each shoulder. Leaving the dumbbells on the ground, grasp them with a neutral grip, straighten your arms and prop your body up on your hands and toes [A].
Action: Slowly lower your body toward the mat by bending your elbows. Keep your abdominals and glutes contracted to prevent your hips from dropping . Hold for a second, then push your body back up to the starting position and repeat.
Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps.