Challenge Yourself with these Push Up Variations


Still beginning to get the hang of mastering the push up? If you feel like you’re getting stronger and ready to boost up the difficulty level, then try these variations:

The Wall Push Up

Stand facing a wall, with your feet a few feet from the wall.
Lean in slightly and place you hands on the wall just wider than shoulder width.
Avoid a wide placement. Spreading your hands too wide will reduce the range of motion of the exercise and reduce overall effectiveness.
Slowly and deliberately bend the elbows and move in as close to the wall as possible.
Slowly and deliberately push off the wall until your elbows are straight, but not locked.
Repeat as many as 20 reps to build strength and endurance.
When this exercise becomes too easy, start lowering the surface you are using.

The Basic Incline Push Up
The basic incline push up is done using a bench, table, or other solid surface that is about three feet high. Here's how to do this style correctly:

Stand facing the bench, table, or the edge of a bed (see above photo).
Place your hands on the edge of the bench just slightly wider than shoulder width.
Realign your feet so that your arms and body are completely straight.
Check that your arms are perpendicular to body.
Perform the movement while keeping your body straight, and bend your elbows to slowly lower your chest to the edge of the bench.
Again, keep your body rigid throughout the movement.
Return to the start position by pushing your body away from the bench until your elbows are extended, but not locked.
Keep going with slow, steady repetitions.

When you can do 20 or more in a row, you may want to reduce the bench height, begin standard, floor push ups, or try doing the incline push up on a less stable surface, such as a stability ball push up, or Bosu ball push up. Additionally, you can perform them with one leg lifted slightly off the ground to challenge your strength and balance.