Pimp your push-ups - 12 variations you need to try
Ahh, the push-up, tried and trusted exercise. A great way to work your chest and triceps, it also helps tone your core, shoulders, glutes and legs. It's pretty much the most perfect exercise around – no equipment needed.
But daily push-ups can be a bit boring, and variety is the spice of life, right? Keeping your workout varied ensures you'll never get bored, so try these 12 variations on the classic push-up to test yourself to the limit. Ready? Drop and give me 12!
#1. Twister push-up
Looking to improve your balance whilst working your oblique muscles and shoulders? Try this simple rotational push-up. Rotate into a side plank when your push-up is finished – your body should resemble a 'T' shape. This takes a bit of practice but can really boost your strength.
#2. Spidey push-up
We can't promise you your very own Gwen Stacey, but we can promise toned shoulders and legs! Get in position for a regular push-up then bring one knee up to the side, pushing it towards your elbow as you complete the 'down' movement of your push-up. Hold your knee in this position for a few reps then switch sides.
#3. Kick-it push-up
At the top of your push-up, kick one leg out to the side, hard. This really helps to improve your flexibility and balance and can also strengthen your quads. Just make sure you're far away from the TV and other breakables!
#4. Wider push-up
Rather than dropping for reps of the same-old push-up, make your chest muscles work harder by placing your hands wider apart than usual. This helps to tone and strengthen your outer chest.
#5. Tiger push-up
Tricky to master but terrific for triceps, this variation will soon work up a sweat. Flatten your forearms on the ground at the bottom of your push-up, then raise your bottom in the air whilst pulling your body slightly backwards, like a big cat preparing to pounce. Then simply reverse this movement and push-up.
#6. Pike push-up
If you want to tone and strengthen your shoulders then the pike push-up is one of the best bodyweight exercises around. Lift your bottom into the air – your body should form a triangle with the ground, similar to the 'downward-facing dog' position in yoga. If you're feeling extra-brave, you can elevate your legs for a hand-stand push-up.
#7. Typewriter push-up
The typewriter push-up may sound complicated, but once you've mastered it, you'll be hooked. Lower your body to one side, then slide your body over to the other hand. Make sure you keep your body slightly above floor level, pushing up. When you come back down, slide your body to the right and push up.
#8. Hand-stand push up
Don't worry, you don't need gymnastic skills to master a hand-stand push up; just use a wall for support. It's a great way to build up strength in your shoulders and arms. Stand near a wall, facing away from it and place your head and hands on the floor. Placing your feet up against the wall behind you, slowly walk them up until your arms and body are straight. Now slowly bend your elbows, lowering your head towards the ground, and push back up.
#9. Hindu push-up
Combine your knowledge of yoga with your morning push-ups for the ultimate way to build strength and improve flexibility. Get into the 'downward-facing dog' position then lower your body, pulling your head towards your hands. Slowly push upwards into a 'cobra' pose, keeping your body from touching the ground. Then with your arms straight, bend your hips and return to the start.
#10. Explosive push-up
These push-ups are the ideal way to build speed, power and muscle. Push hard off the ground so your upper body pushes up into space whilst your hands remain briefly in mid-air. Make sure you stretch out your wrists before and after these push-ups as they're taking a lot of the strain.
#11. Explosive Jacks push-up
A cross between a push-up and a jumping jack, kick your feet to the side so your body lifts off the ground when performing your push-up. On the way down, kick your feet back together. This can be a challenge, but once you've mastered it, you'll feel great!
#12. Upside down wall push-up
With the soles of your feet against the wall, place your hands down on the floor so you're facing the floor and perform a push-up. This is a great way to work your legs and your abs, as well as giving your upper chest muscles a good workout.