Chances are, the first exercise you ever tried was the pushup. Maybe you remember the time you pushed yourself up from the ground during a gym class test. Or perhaps it was in your bedroom when you were young, imagining yourself with big muscles like your favorite athlete or action hero. Since then, the pushup has likely been a part of nearly every workout routine you’ve tried.

And it’s popular for a good reason—it’s a simple yet effective way to work out. By using your own body weight, you can target your chest, shoulders, and arms. Plus, if you maintain proper form, you’ll also engage your core muscles. Another great thing about pushups is their convenience. You can do them just about anywhere, as long as you have a flat surface to place your hands on.

Once you get the hang of doing pushups correctly, they become accessible to almost everyone. With practice, just about anyone can improve and eventually perfect their form enough to do at least a few reps. So, whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just starting out on your fitness journey, pushups can be a valuable addition to your routine.

And in this blog about “Pushup variations to boost your strength” we will discover interesting facts about pushup and get to know several pushup variations in the list! And now, let’s begin!

About pushup in general

Definition

Pushup is a popular type of exercise
Pushup is a popular type of exercise

what is pushup? A pushup is a type of exercise where you start by lying face down on the ground. Then, you push yourself up using your arms until they are straight, while keeping your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. After that, you lower yourself back down until your chest touches the ground or hovers slightly above it, and then you push yourself back up again.

It’s like a moving plank where you use your arms to lift and lower your body. Pushups mainly work out muscles in your chest, shoulders, and arms, but if you do them correctly, they can also engage your core muscles. They’re a popular exercise because you can do them anywhere without any special equipment, and they’re effective for building strength in your upper body.

How to level up your pushup

Understanding the standard version of an exercise is crucial for making progress. When it comes to pushups, the challenge lies in figuring out how to make them harder. While the regular pushup can be tough at first, once you’ve done enough repetitions, it might not push you as much because you’re always lifting only a part of your body weight.

Sure, the classic pushup effectively works out your chest, shoulders, and arms. But there are ways to make it even more challenging.

For example:

  • By changing where you position your hands on the floor, you can put extra emphasis on your triceps.
  • Altering the pace by slowing down as you lower yourself or pausing at the bottom of the movement can increase the time your muscles are under tension, which is great for building strength.
  • You can also mix things up by using props like raising your hands or feet to shift the focus of the exercise.
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These small adjustments can help you keep challenging your muscles and continue making progress in your workouts.

These are just some examples of pushup variations, which you can use instead of or alongside regular pushups to make your workouts more diverse. You don’t need any extra equipment or complicated techniques to try them out. You can mix several types of pushups into one workout session.

Here are a few pushup variations you can practice to spice up your training routine. Remember, this list doesn’t cover every possible variation, so if you don’t see your favorite one here, don’t worry. It’s important to understand that all these variations stem from the basic pushup.

So, it’s crucial to focus on getting the fundamentals right—like keeping your entire body engaged and maintaining proper positioning. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can experiment with different pushup variations to keep challenging yourself and making progress in your workouts.

Pushup variations to boost your strength (Part 1)

Close-Grip Pushup

It’s a great way to target your triceps more intensely. To do it, just bring your hands closer together than you would in a regular pushup, aiming for a position slightly narrower than shoulder-width. Avoid bringing your hands too close together, like in a diamond shape, as it can be harder to maintain. Keep your elbows close to your body as you perform each rep.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start in a strong pushup position with your hands under your shoulders, toes on the ground, and your back flat.
  • Engage your shoulder blades, abs, and glutes to create tension.
  • Bring your hands slightly closer together than shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower your torso toward the ground by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your sides.
  • Stop when your chest is just above the floor.
  • Push yourself back up to the starting position by straightening your elbows.

Incline Pushup

Incline Pushup
Incline Pushup

This one is great for beginners because it’s less challenging than a standard pushup. By elevating your hands on a surface like a bench or chair, you reduce the angle of your body, making the exercise easier. But don’t let that fool you—it’s also a valuable option for experienced exercisers who want to add more volume to their workouts.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your hands on an elevated surface, like a bench or plyo box, with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet slightly closer together.
  • Engage your shoulder blades, abs, and glutes to create tension in your body.
  • Turn your elbows forward slightly to activate your lats.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the platform.
  • Pause briefly, then push yourself back up to the starting position.

Deficit Pushup

Deficit Pushup
Deficit Pushup

Unlike the Incline Pushup where you elevate your hands, this one goes in the opposite direction by adding a deficit, which increases the range of motion. You’ll need something sturdy like platforms or kettlebells to create this deficit. Keep in mind, this variation isn’t for beginners, so make sure you’ve mastered the standard pushup before giving it a try.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your hands on the platforms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Engage your shoulder blades, abs, and glutes.
  • Lower yourself down as you would in a regular pushup
  • But aim to go lower than usual, almost to about an inch from the floor or as far as your body allows.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
See also  Pushup variations to boost your strength ( Part 2)

Mixed-Style Close-Grip Pushup

This variation combines elements like pausing and changing tempos to increase the time your muscles are under tension. Instead of completing each rep in one fluid motion, you’ll pause halfway through to ensure your form is spot on.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start in a close-grip pushup position.
  • Lower yourself down into a close-grip pushup, but as you push back up, pause halfway.
  • After a brief pause, finish pushing yourself all the way up.
  • Immediately perform a standard close-grip pushup rep.

Spiderman Pushup

This one’s a bit more challenging but adds some hip action to the mix.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin in a standard pushup position.
  • As you lower yourself down, simultaneously open your hips and bring one knee toward your elbow.
  • Aim to get your knee in position as you reach the lowest point of your pushup.
  • As you push back up, reverse the movement with your leg to return to the starting position.

Archer Pushup

Archer Pushup
Archer Pushup

This one lets you target one side of your body at a time, which isn’t typically an option with regular pushups.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin in a standard pushup position
  • Instead of having your hands directly under your shoulders, shift them further away from your torso.
  • Also, rotate your hands so they’re facing away from you.
  • Lower yourself down to one side, keeping your body in a straight line.
  • Then, push back up to the starting position.
  • Make sure to engage your abs and glutes to keep your hips square.
  • Repeat the movement on the other side.
  • If this feels too challenging, you can scale it down by only lowering to one side at a time.

Incline Archer Pushup

This variation takes the Archer Pushup to the next level by adding elevation, making it even more challenging. It also shifts the focus to your upper chest muscles, which can be tough to target without weights.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your feet on a bench or elevated surface and assume a pushup position with your hands on the floor.
  • Shift your hands out into the Archer position as described earlier.
  • Perform Archer Pushups from this elevated position.

These variations offer a new twist to your pushup routine and help you work different muscle groups in your upper body. Give them a try to add some excitement to your workouts!

If you need a more detailed guide about pushup variations, check out this YOUTUBE video!

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