82 push-ups you need to try
posted: May 27, 2014
For those who can do handstand push-ups, we salute you
Drop and give me… 82? That’s right. Push-ups are one of the simplest and most functional exercises you’ll ever add to your routine, and they work almost every muscle we’ve got: the triceps and chest get a great workout, but the movement also engages the shoulders, core, lats, lower back, legs, and glutes.
This said, doing the same old push-ups day in and day out can feel a little bit vanilla, so it’s worth shaking things up. Variety can supercharge a workout and throw a whole range of new muscles into the mix. Ever tried a Spiderman push-up? How about an alligator or a jackknife push-up? Our friends at Greatist rounded them all up, from beginner versions to explosive ones, expert ones to ones that involve equipment. Just be sure to spend some time perfecting your form and nailing the basics before you jump into the variations that require increased strength, coordination, and balance.
An explosive push-up with a clap is closer than you think if you start hammering out reps of standard push-ups right now
Check out 10 of our favourite.
1. Shoulder Tap Push-up. This version takes the standard push-up, one of the most fundamental bodyweight exercises on earth, one step further. At the top of your push-up simply maintain form and tap one hand with the other. This improves balance and makes the exercise more isometric, which is a great way to boost strength.
2. Single Leg Raised Push-up. Not as crazy as it sounds! Perform a push-up, but extend one leg off the ground os that it’s parallel with the floor. This adds some extra instability and recruits your abs for extra balance.
3. Staggered. By staggering the hands (that is, by placing one hand farther forward than the other), one is able to emphasize one side of the chest—a super useful variation for those whose strength is lagging on their non-dominant side.
4. Alligator. Some people use this name for staggered push-ups, but we’re using it to refer to a staggered push-up that walks the body forward, just like an alligator crawling along the ground. Have fun with these!
5. Feet on the Wall. A wall counts as equipment, right? There’s probably a cooler name for these, but we don’t think they need one. Brace the soles of the feet against the wall and perform a push-up. This puts extra emphasis on the legs and ab muscles, as well as the upper chest and, well, the whole body.
6. Fingertip. This variation requires a huge amount of strength in the forearms and fingers (any volleyballers out there?). The fewer fingers on the ground, the more strength is involved. Bruce Lee was known for performing one-armed push-ups on one finger, but we’re not recommending anyone try that at home.
7. Explosive. This is ground zero for these kind of push-ups. Push so hard off the ground that the upper body soars into space and the hands are briefly in mid-air. Be sure to stretch the wrists, since this exercise puts extra impact on them.
8. Explosive Single-Arm Alternating. Also known as the Rocky, this requires a one-armed push-up that’s so explosive the landing hand can be switched in mid-air.
9. Single Hand on a Medicine Ball. Place one hand on a medicine ball and one on the ground to perform this push-up. It is a great way to strengthen a particular side of the body while also building balance and coordination.
10. Both Hands on a Kettlebell. Balancing both hands on a kettlebell (or, for the fearless, on a kettlebell handle) is a great way to mimic a diamond push-up (a push-up done with hands together so that the thumbs and index fingers form a diamond; hands below the center of the chest), but with more instability.
Want more? Yeah you do! Click here for 72 other push-up variations.