Must-Know Push-up Variations

Must-Know Push-up Variations
By Angela Silva |

The push-up is the standard of body-weight exercises. Push-ups are some of the easiest and most effective ways to exercise and get in-shape. If push-ups are part of your routine, here are some fun variations to help mix-up your workout and work different muscle groups. They include push-ups for all experience levels. And if you weren’t a fan of push-ups before, you will be after you see these cool push-up variations!

Note: caution is advised when attempting any new exercise program. Especially with the more advanced push-ups, keep in mind it can takes years to work up to these, and only attempt if you are confident in your strength and coordination

Beginning push-up variations

If a standard push-up is too difficult for you, start with standing push-ups and work your way to the floor.

  • Against the wall – Push yourself off of a wall while standing upright.
  • Against a table – This is similar to the wall push-up but with a little more angle for more resistance.
  • On your knees – With your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor, with your knees touching the floor, this is close to the real thing.

Basic push-up variations

  • Basic push-up – Once you’re comfortable with the above modifications, you are ready for the real deal, the premier body-weight exercise!
  • Hand or shoulder tap – when your arms are extended and you’re at the top of the push-up, use one hand to touch the opposite hand or shoulder. Switch sides on the next push-up.
  • Single-raised arm– when your arms are extended and you’re at the top of the push-up, raise one arm out in front, and then lower.
  • Single-raised leg – This is basically a one-legged complete push-up. Raise one leg during all phases of the push-up, and switch legs after reach completed push-up

Intermediate push-up variations

  • Off the knuckles – Instead of hands being flat on the ground, make a fist with your fingers and knuckles on the ground. This is a great exercise for improving balance.
  • Staggered stance – Perform a basic push-up but with one arm in front of the other. Try doing this with hands close together, then far apart. Switch arms after the desired number of reps.
  • Knee-to-chest – When your arms are extended in the top of the pushup, bring one knee into your chest, without your foot touching the floor, to work your abdominal muscles.
  • Toe-touches – Similar to the knee-to-chest, at the top of the pushup bring your knee into the chest and use the opposite hand to tap your foot. Make sure you don’t let your foot touch the floor until it returns to standard position.

Advanced push-up variations

  • Air-borne – At the bottom of the pushup when your chest is near the floor, explode to the top so that your hands are briefly in mid-air.
  • The Rocky – This is a modified air-borne pushup. For this variation, you start with a one-armed push-up, and then must push hard enough at the bottom to be able to switch arms while in the air.
  • Upside-down – Walk your feet up a wall so you are almost in a handstand position. Perform a pushup or any of the above-mentioned variations in this position for extra leg and abdominal work.
  • Fingertip – Raise your palm off of the ground so only the tips of your fingers are holding you up. The fewer the fingers, the more difficult and strength required.

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