The push up. A simple, classic movement. Something we all start with as children. Yet, it’s also something we can continue to refine and develop throughout our athletic life.
For some, achieving the push up from the toes can be a benchmark of fitness, signaling a level of strength and fitness perhaps previously unachieved. For others, push ups are something done hundreds, even thousands of times in bootcamps and training camps.
Whether you’re bored with the standard push up or you’re looking for new ways to build strength, the following series of videos will walk you through good form, progressions, and a slew of variations. I challenge you to not be challenged by one of these push ups. Which one are you going to take on?
The Basic Push Up Variations
In this video, Coach Traver Boehm shows up some push up basics and then some advanced versions. Watch for tips and to see if you’re following good form in these five variations:
- Knee Push Up
- Toe Push Up
- Clapping Push Up
- Dive Bomber Push Up
- Spiderman Push Up
Dive Bomber Push Ups
Those dive bomber push ups look like they’re probably great for shoulder strength and mobility, right? Coach Ben Musholt goes into more depth on this classic push up and then adds three separate variations. Each of these make the dive bomber even more challenging:
- Wall-plank dive bomber – Place your feet low on the wall. Get into a crouched plank to start.
- Renegade row dive bomber – Perform a dive bomber push up with dumbbells in your hands. Then finish with a renegade row.
- BOSU ball dive bomber – Turn the ball upside down and clasp your hands on either side.
Wrist Push Ups
Your shoulders got a special workout on that last one, now what about your wrists? Wrist push ups – also know as back-of-the-hand push ups – can be a great way to develop wrist strength and mobility. But be forewarned, this is an advanced movement. So here are some tips from bodyweight and calisthenic expert Al Kavadlo:
- First become proficient at push ups, fist push ups, and fingertip push ups
- Start with one hand palm down and the other hand back-of the-hand down
- Use a soft surface to get the skin on your hand conditioned
Once you are able to perform solid wrist push ups for reps, you can try an even more advanced variation of this movement – the one-arm wrist push up. But wait! Maybe you should learn the regular one-arm push up first…
One-Arm Push Up
A one-arm push up is a mighty impressive party trick. It’s a mighty impressive thing to just pull off in the gym, too. Or your driveway. Or your living room. There are also a lot of different ways to train for the one-arm push up. Here are five of Al Kavadlo‘s favorites.
- Incline one-arm push up
- Self assisted one-arm push up
- L7 push up
- Negative one-arm push up
- Pistol position one-arm push up
Another Take on One-Arm Push Ups
Coach Ben Musholt literally wrote the book on push ups, and a whole lot of over exercises, too. Here, he demonstrates a simple progression for learning a one-armed push up. No special equipment is required, but the use of a medicine ball will add another variation to the drill.
So which push up variation is next on your hit list? Pick one as your next goal and post to the comments below.