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Elizabeth Quinn

Push Up Variations

By May 9, 2012

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Need a little spice in your push up routine? Try adding a few variations to the standard push up.

If you can only do one exercise, and want to make it count, push ups will be on the top of the list. Great for upper body and core strength and endurance, adding a few modifications make it an effective total workout. Some of the most common ways to modify the push up include:

Alternating Medicine Ball Push Up
This variation adds core stability as well as a modified range of motion during the basic push up movement. Roll the medicine ball between each hand after a reps and add a new balance challenge.

Push Up Lat Row
Add a couple of dumbbells to the push up movement and you have nice push-pull upper body workout.  This modification increases the intensity of the exercise, activates the core stabilizers and engages the latissimus dorsi (back) muscles.

Stability Ball Push Ups
If you are ready to move beyond the basic push and add some core stability work try stability ball push ups. This variation of the push up increases the difficulty and effectiveness of the standard push up. Adding the balance requirement takes some practice an good core strength, so make sure you can do about 20 basic push ups before trying these.

Incline (Table Top) Push Ups
If you're not quite ready for basic push ups, start by doing push ups against a wall, a table or a sturdy chair. Stand several feet back  use the same push movement to lower yourself until the elbows are 90 degrees and then raise back up. Keep you core tight the whole time.

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