Everyone knows about pushups, but which push up exercise should you do? There are surprisingly many variations of the standard push up that will allow you to spice things up a bit in your routines and also help you achieve your specific fitness goals.
All push ups help improve strength, endurance, and even flexibility, but each push up exercise improves those differently.
Also, by doing different types of push ups, you can work your body at different angles and at different intensities. This will help improve push up and overall athletic ability.
- Place two chairs just wider than shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the chairs and feet on the floor, assuming the push up position.
- Drop down, having your chest go just below the chairs. Inhale on the way down.
- Push back up, exhaling on the way up.
Explosive Atlas Pushup
Perform the Atlas push up as described above, except, when you push up, you push up hard and fast enough to touch your hands to your chest or to do a clap, before bringing your hands back to the chairs. Then, repeat.
- Place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart. Your feet are together.
- Adjust your hands so that only the fingers are holding you up and not just the whole hand.
- Drop down, touching your chest the floor, and then push back up.
- Place your hands on the floor with your feet together.
- Make a diamond shape with your hands, using the thumbs and index fingers
- Touch your chest to the floor and push back up.
A variation is to stick your butt up in the air, similar to the hindu pushup (see below), and touch your nose to diamond area your hands make, then push back up.
These are just like Hindu Pushups except you bend the arms on the way back.
- Place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, same with your feet.
- Point your butt up in the air, and your head down, looking towards your feet.
- Your arms are straight. Your arms and back should form a straight line.
- Bend your arms, bringing your chest to the ground to where your hands are and then continue forward, pushing up towards the sky. This motion is a circular arc.
- Reverse the motion, pushing back to the starting position following the same path.
- Assume the push up position.
- Bend your arms and touch your chest to the floor.
- Push up hard enough so that you can clap your hands, and then come down, hands back to the same spot they were in.
- Get into a push up position with a friend doing the same in front of you.
- Each of you touch your chests to the floor.
- When you both come up, shake hands, still holding the starting position.
- Repeat, alternating the hand you shake with.
If you don’t have someone to do this with, just use any stationary object to touch like a chair or a wall.
One down, Two Up
- Place one hand on the ground, right under your chest, and your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.
- With control, lower yourself and touch the floor with your chest, like you would for a one arm push up.
- At the bottom, place the second hand on the floor near the first one and push back up. You may have to shift your body to adjust for both hands.
- Repeat, alternating which hand you’re going down with. Always push up with two.
This exercise is good for working towards doing a one-arm push up.