Man exercising in gym push upsAre you ready to change things up, not just in your workout, but in your life? One of the biggest benefits of a push-up focused exercise plan is its ability to make you feel (and not just look) like a lean, mean, bad-to-the-bone machine. Only got 10 minutes to really push it at the gym, at home or even in your office? No problem, because we’ve got new variations on the old—some great ways to challenge the classic push-up! Incorporate these into your workout, and you’ll feel like someone who’s just graduated from boot camp—complete with a strong, fit body you’re been longing for.

The Benefit of the Push-Up

If you don’t have a gym membership, a car or a cardio class in your area, consider the classic push-up your best friend. You’ll seen or perhaps, practiced your push-up skills in P.E. class during school. Then, maybe you’ve done them as an adult in an effort to tone and build muscle in your shoulders, chest and back. But did you know it’s the perfect exercise for your core as well? When it comes to a single exercise that can boost your metabolism, increase your strength and overall make you feel sexy, tough and resilient, the push-up knows no bounds.

Make ‘Em Diamonds!

Ready to condition your triceps chest or shoulders? This push-up should do it. The ‘diamond’ push-up will make you feel like a personal trainer (yep, it’s that effective) but without the certification. This style of push-up will put you in the standard push-up posture, but instead of keeping your hands parallel of each other, you’ll want to form a ‘diamond.’ Simply do this by first extending your legs and make sure your posture in aligned. Make sure your arms are close to your sides, and then bring your hands together, so your thumbs and your first fingers are touching (that’s where this push-up gets its name!) Lower yourself down as you would normally for a classic push-up, come back up in a controlled manner, and repeat. Warning: it’s tougher than it looks, but it will give you amazing results.

Incline Push-UpsWoman doing push ups.

Do you dream of perfect pecs? Look no further than incline push-ups to give you just what you’re looking for. Incline push-ups are based off of the classic push-up, but with a challenge thrown in the mix—you’re dealing with some serious, gravity! This exercise is great to do at the gym since you’re bound to find a bench handy that you can stand in front of. If you’re at home, two chairs pushed together will work (and this can be a great office exercise to do, as well!)

Lean forward and place your hands about shoulder width apart on the bench. You’ll want your body to be in a straight line, so walk back until your posture has achieved this. Start the push-up with your arms straight, and slowly lower yourself down. Quivering? That’s a good thing! It means you’re really giving your body a workout. Once you need a greater challenge, pick a bench that’s lower, and force yourself to work out harder!

Push-ups were meant to push your body. So, when you focus on challenging your body with a switch-up to the old, tried-and-true push-up, you’ll improve your health from head to toe. Push it real good, and notice a real difference!