Push ups are a great functional exercise that engages core strength, works your chest and triceps, and helps to improve upper body strength, but you don’t have to perform them in the same way every time!
Doing push up variations will challenge your body to move in different ways and prevent boredom from setting in. Here are six variations to get you started.
Close grip push ups
When we do push ups, our chest and triceps work together to do the ‘push’ movement. Normal push ups (with wider hands) work your chest more, while close grip push ups require more effort from your triceps.
To do close grip push ups, place your hands directly under your shoulders. When performing your push up, bend from the elbows but keep them tucked in close to your sides. You should feel them brush alongside your ribcage as you come down and push back up.
Diamond push ups
Another variation that works your triceps more; put your index fingers together and your thumbs together to form a diamond shape with your hands. Place them on the ground right under your face and let your elbows flare out to the sides when performing your push ups.
Spiderman push ups
Set yourself up for a basic push up. From here, take one hand forward in front of you slightly and take a small step forward with the opposite leg so the knee is bent (almost like you’re Spiderman climbing a wall) before performing your press up.
You can either walk these forward (do a push up, then ‘step’ the other hand and foot forward to do your next push up), or do one side at a time.
Wall climber push ups
Perform a normal push up, then walk your hands and feet sideways – try walking opposite hand, opposite foot at the same time, one walk on each side until you’re in standard push up stance again. Keep ‘walking’ your push ups sideways for 6-10 reps. Then do the same number or reps to return back to your starting position. Make sure you keep facing the same way when you return to ensure you work the opposite side of your body as you push across.
Wide leg push ups
Set up in standard push up stance but take your legs wider than your hips to perform the push up.
Firefly push ups
This one’s for those of you who want an advanced option! Based on a yoga move, set up in standard push up position, lift one leg off the ground and flaring it so your leg is parallel to the ground, bring the knee to you elbow on the same side before performing the push up. Return to start position then repeat on the other side.
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – stockimages