This timeless exercise is timeless for a reason. It’s one of the best moves to engage your core, work your chest and build muscle in your arms. Not to mention, it’s incredibly versatile. While most people stick with the standard pushup there are a number of ways you can tweak it just a little to get more out of the movement. Here are five variations to try in your next workout.
While pushups already engage your core, this variation works your oblique muscles as well. The move is simple: Do a standard pushup; before going down into another pull you right knee over to the side to tap your right elbow. Do the same for your left side and then go down into another pushup.
In this variation, you place your feet at a higher level than your lower body so you’re moving in a decline from toes to head. In the gym you can use a yoga or bosu ball and at home you can use anything from stairs to a sturdy chair. This style increases the difficulty, forcing you to exert more strength and stability throughout the move. When your legs are up, do the exercise as you normally would. Start slow to ensure your form is correct.
Where there’s a wall there’s a way. In this case, you can do a wall pushup anywhere, anytime. With less stress on your back, this beginner move blasts your chest without bothering that part of your body. Simply stand in front of a wall, lean forward, placing both hands on the wall and push down like a pushup. When coming out of the move, spring your body back off the wall using your hands and arms.
Wide Grip Pushup
This variation places more emphasis on your chest and core. Use this as a way to change up the targeted muscle groups and get more from each more. Simply place your arms wider than your shoulders, and continue through the pushup motion.
Diamond pushups work an important arm-muscle group—your triceps. Place your hands together in the shape of a diamond (touching your thumbs and forefingers together, while sprawling the rest of your fingers out for support), just out in front of your head a little. You may want to start on your knees for this exercise as it’s much harder than the others if you’ve never tried it before. Go down into a pushup and move into standard form when you feel ready.