Push Up Workouts are perhaps the most well-known and easily accessible of all bodyweight exercises. All you need is a patch of ground and your body. The amazing thing is that this most primitive of exercises remains one of the most effective single things you can do to improve the strength, fitness, and musculature of your entire body. In this article, we present 5 push up variations that can be combined into an awesome workout.*
The Basic Push Up
Lie on your belly with your legs straight behind you and your feet together, the balls of your feet on the floor, and your heels in the air. Place your palms on the floor so they’re at chest level and directly under your elbows. Straighten your arms so that your body rises off the floor, keeping your neck straight and your chest lifted, your eyes focused on the floor slightly ahead of you, your abs held tight, and your body as straight as a board. Slowly bend your arms and lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and your upper arms are parallel to the floor; if this is too difficult, lower yourself just halfway down. Exhale then push back up to the starting position.
The Explosive Push Up
Assume a plank position and do a regular push up. Make sure to engage your abs and keep your body in a straight line. As you push up explosively, push yourself off the floor so that your hands come up a few inches. You may choose to do these on your knees until you gain confidence. Once you can do 10 in a row, try progressing to a clap on each repetition.
Wide Grip Push Up
Start by lying on your belly with your feet hip-width apart and your feet flexed. Place your hands about a foot outside your shoulders on each side with your palms on the ground and elbows bent. Your fingertips should be facing out to the sides. Push yourself up to a full plank position with your abs engaged and your body forming a straight line. Perform wide push-ups from this position.
Start in a push-up position but stagger your hands so that one is in front of your shoulder and the other is in its usual position. Do half your reps this way and they switch positions for the remainder.
Close Grip Push Up
Start in a regular push up position, however, place both of your hands together under the center of your chest, rather than under your shoulders. Your fingertips should be facing forward. From here, lower yourself into a push up as far as you can go down. Your elbows will track out to the side of your body, working your triceps. Push back and repeat.
Putting Them Together
You can combine the above 5 types of push-ups into a challenging upper body workout as follows:
Bring up the stopwatch function on your phone and push start.
Perform 15 normal push-ups. This should take 15-20 seconds. Now rest until 1 minute is up.
Next, perform 15 explosive pushups. Again rest until the next minute is up.
Repeat with the three other push up types, doing 15 reps and then resting until the minute is up.
Complete the entire sequence a second time.
This workout will see you performing 150 pushups in 10 minutes. You will provide your upper body with a wide range of training variation while also enhancing your training endurance. As you get used to this program, challenge yourself by taking each set up to 20 reps for a cumulative total of 200.