Bored of the push up? Then this is the article for you. I have a few modifications to crank the intensity up a notch…or three.
The push up is one of my favourite bodyweight exercises. Firstly, you can perform them anywhere and you don’t need any special exercise equipment. For a “simple” exercise, it’s fairly advanced, working several muscle groups at the same time – pecs, deltoids, triceps, and abs – stimulating your metabolism for maximum calorie burning potential. Lastly, push ups are for anyone at any level – from beginners to advanced fitness enthusiasts.
There are numerous ways to modify and punch up your push up. Ladies, please don’t shy away from the push up and think they are a “man’s” exercise – they are not! If you can’t perform a standard push up, modify it by starting on your knees or do a push up against a wall until you build up enough strength to advance to the standard push up. Believe me you will!
Below are some of my modifications to the standard push up, but there are so many more varieties. So change it up – challenge yourself and have some fun!
Spiderman Push Up
The Spiderman push up is one of my favourite. It not only works the upper body, but this variation really challenges the core as you are now slightly off balance and therefore have to work harder to stabilize yourself.
The Move: Starting in plank position, slowly lower yourself to hover one inch off the floor. As you lower your body to the floor, bring one knee out to the side to touch your elbow. Hold for one count and return back to the staring position.
Medicine Ball Push Up
In this variation, you have one hand on the medicine ball and your other hand on the floor. The side with your hand on the ball works through a longer range of motion which increases muscle activation, and, like the Spiderman push up, you will engage your core more to stabilize.
The Move: Get into a push up position resting one hand on a medicine ball and the other on the floor. Slowly lower your chest to about an inch above the floor then press up. Complete as many reps as you can then switch sides. Alternatively, do one push up and then switch the ball to the other hand and complete a push up alternating back and forth between sides.
Elevated Push Up with BOSU Ball
This push up increases the intensity quite a bit through the elevation of your legs and the addition of a BOSU ball. These two changes increase the instability in the move, again challenging your core but also increases the load on your upper body due to the elevation of your legs. You can vary this exercise by either eliminating the BOSU and keeping your feet elevated (as I depict in the photo above), or use just the BOSU and forego elevating the feet. Either way, it’s still a step up from your regular push up.
The Move: Place both hands on a BOSU ball with the flat side facing up. Using a bench, chair, table (whatever you have), elevate your feet so that you are forming a straight body line in push up position. Slowly lower your chest to about 1 inch from the BOSU. Hold for 1 count then slowly push yourself back up to your starting position.
Weighted Vest Push Up
Another way to punch up your push up is to add a weighted vest. The addition of the weighted vest makes you work harder as you now have an additional load. I love adding a weighted vest to my work outs when I want to crank it up a bit. It’s amazing what a bit of added weight will do! The weighted vest I’m wearing adds an additional 5kg to my work out. That’s almost an additional 10% of my weight, so I really feel the burn.
To fitness with love,