Push-Up Variations

One-armed Dive Bomber Push-up
One-armed Dive Bomber Push-up. (video demonstrations below).
From middle school gym class to elite military units, the push up is well known as an exercise for developing the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and arms. Throw a little variety on the movement, and you have exercises for training explosiveness, balance, flexibility, and core stability. The push up is scalable for any fitness level, is completely portable, and is a welcome addition to almost any fitness regimen.

Scalable for all fitness levels: Beginners can start with the push up from the knees or with hands elevated on an object such a chair. For the extremely unconditioned, the hands can even be placed on a wall. Those looking for a challenge beyond the standard push up can move to the push up with the feet elevated, the dive bomber push up, or any of the one-arm push up varieties. For the ultimate push up test of strength, balance, and core stability, try the one-arm one-leg push up!

Ultimate convenience: You can't beat body-weight exercises for convenience. The push up requires no equipment and can be done with minimal floor space. I even know a guy who used to do push ups in a Starbucks bathroom!

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Various fitness modes: Depending on your fitness level, the standard push up can be an excellent strength building exercise. Once you can knock out 10 perfect reps of the standard push up, you start moving into the realms of muscular endurance and hypertrophy. But don't limit the push up to just upper body strength conditioning. The clapping push up and the shuffle push up are great for training explosive power. The cross touch push up and the T-push up are great for balance. And divebombers and Hindu push ups add an element of trunk flexibility to the movement. Combined with other body-weight movements such as squats or burpees, the push up can even be used for metabolic conditioning.

How you use the push up and its many varieties is limited only by your imagination.

For specific workout plans check out our how to build muscle guide... or if you're trying to get lean, you'd probably be interested in our how to lose fat guide.

Vic Magary

Vic Magary is a blogger, fat loss expert & dog lover; dedicated to helping people get in the best shape of their lives. Keep up with him on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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