Push Up Variations
A bit ago I posted about how to do a perfect push up.
Today, I want to talk about all the fun and different challenging variations of push ups you can do.
For some of you, these will be easily doable now. For others, this is something to motivate you to EARN these harder exercises.
Do not attempt these if you haven’t mastered at least a perfect push up from your knees. Many of these can be done from your knees.
HOWEVER, many of these are more difficult than even a perfect push up from your toes.
Anyway, maybe these will be a fun challenge for some of you to try out tomorrow during you 4th of July BBQ! See what other push up variations you can come up with!
1. The Push Up Climb – So this one is difficult because it includes a ton of push ups and because you are doing a variety of push ups as you climb your way back and forth across the weights. You can honestly set up as many different “hills” as you want. I did three. Two smaller ones and a taller one in the middle. Perform a push up besides the first tower. Then climb one hand up on the weights and do another push up. Then place both hands on top of the weights and do a close grip push up. Then climb one hand down and do another push up. Then both hands should be down on the ground for a narrower push up. Repeat up and down the next few towers. A great way to really hit your chest, shoulders and triceps from a few different angles. This can be done from knees or toes. You can even turn it into a competition and see who can get back and forth across the most times before failing! (I have a sick sense of fun…I know…)
2. Push Up to Dip – Seriously one of my favorite moves. Set up two kettlebells or two push up stands. The stands should be narrow enough that you really can only slide your feet through. Perform two push ups on the stands and then swing your legs through and perform two dips. The more you “swing” through and the less you walk back and forth through the kettlebells, the more challenging the move will become. Make sure that when you do the dip, your butt is back by the kettlebell. This move can be regressed in a couple of different ways. It can be done from the knees or even on an incline. You can use a bench and do two push ups followed by two dips off the bench. Do about 5 rounds of this….Sounds easy to only do 10 push ups but with the dip in between your triceps get a bit shot.
3. Handstand Push Up – A great shoulder move and really works your core. Set up in a handstand and then drop your head toward the ground before pushing back up. This move can be made a bit easier if done as a pike push up off a bench or box…Like in the IKEA table workout! Or it can be made more difficult by doing it free-standing!
4. Spiderman Push Up – With this move you get in some oblique work as well. Perform a push up. Holding at the bottom of the push up, bring one knee outside your body toward the same elbow. Then put the foot back and do another push up bringing the foot in on the other side. You can also do both feet in every push up! Could be done on an incline to make it easier although you won’t get as much benefit out of bringing the knee in.
5. The Belly Button Push Up – I’ve debated about whether or not this is the hardest one on the list. Still not sure but it is definitely up at the top. Lie facedown on the ground with the heel of your hands down beside your belly button. Push up and then return back down.
6. Decline Push Up – One of my favorites and a great way to hit a different portion of your chest. Put your feet up on something and perform a push up. Your hands will not be directly outside your chest when you do this one.
7. Close to Wide Grip Push Up – If you want to hit EVERYTHING, do these push ups. Start with a diamond push up. Then slowly walk your hands out one at a time until you perform a wide push up.
8. Staggered Push Up – Honestly I think this one looks cooler than it is difficult. Just a great way to add some variety and keep your push up workouts interesting. Place one hand up by your head with finger tips pointing in and the other hand as normal outside your chest. Perform some push ups and then switch which hand is staggered forward. You could even add in a little plyo move and switch your hands every time!
9. “No Feet” Push Up – This is called the “no feet” push up because your feet are up on the wall and you are performing a push up. A great way to work your core and make sure everything is engaged. A bit easier if your shoes have traction! Walk your feet up the wall until in a good push up position. Then do a regular push up without letting your feet slide.
10. T Push Up – This push ups gives you a little extra shoulder and core work and can be done from the toes, the knees and even on an incline. Set up in a regular push up position. Do a push up and then rotate open balancing on one hand as if you are doing a side plank. Hold and then rotate back to a push up position. Do another push up and rotate to the other side.
BONUS: Back and chest move – Push up to plank row!
What’s your favorite push up move? Clapping? One handed? With chains hanging off of you?
Want some great workouts so you can do MORE push ups?
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