12 Push Up Variation Workout That Will Demolish Your Chest
Lagging pecs, triceps, and shoulders all require a significant amount of work to grow.
This workout is meant to bring you and your muscles to tears — it's not for the faint of heart.
High-Intensity Interval Training
Whether you need to improve your lagging upper body or you are trying to get your metabolism cranked so you can get down to single-digit body fat, high-intensity interval training (or HIIT) can take care of that.
Related - Build Muscle Using One Workout Per Week
High-intensity training rescues us from having to perform hours of low-intensity steady state cardio. You know, walking on a 4 mile per hour pace and walk 16 miles. Coupling an ultra-high intensity work set with a short rest period over the course of 15 to 20 minutes, you can achieve some great gains.
Many who are wanting to build muscle, lose fat, or both don't take full advantage of high-intensity interval training.
Why Will This Workout Work?
Going to failure and taking just enough time to recover before going at it again means you are forcing your muscles to work harder. They are working harder, thus shuttling blood to the target area while your metabolism gets a kick in the pants.
Follow these HIIT tips and make some serious gains in your triceps, pecs, and shoulders.
12 Push Up Variation Workout Guidelines
While this workout isn't for the faint of heart, the workout itself is straightforward:
This is like one giant set — you perform each movement until failure, resting 45 to 90 seconds between each movement.
Every movement needs to be performed until failure.
Warmup before you perform this workout.
For those who are less experienced, pick six exercises and slowly add new exercises.
The 12 Push Up Variations
So here is the gauntlet for you to run through. Good luck.
Reach Under Tap Push Up
This push up is going to help build some stabilization.
Get into a standard push up position and complete one rep. Take one hand off of the ground and reach under the opposite arm. Tap the ground and return.
Do this alternating arms as many reps as possible.
Close Grip Push Up
Build some stronger triceps with this exercise.
Keep your hands turned slightly inward and closer together than a regular push up so that a triangle is formed from your fingers and thumbs touching.
Wide Grip Push Up
The wider the grip, the less stress on your shoulders and triceps — making this a solid pec exercise.
Play around with how wide you can place your hands and perform regular push-ups.
Single Leg Push Up
This variation adds a bit more core strength.
To perform, engage your glutes and core while you lift one leg off of the ground and perform a regular push up. Switch legs for the next rep.
Maintain a tight core and don't let your body rock side to side.
This variation will add some rotational strength and pound those obliques.
Follow standard push up form, explode up and raise one arm to the ceiling while fully twisting your torso to that side.
Keep your body straight, rolling on your feet with each rep. Alternate sides for as many as possible.
Paused Push Up
One of the least skill-intensive exercise, a paused rep works well in both bodyweight and free weight exercises.
Perform a standard push up but pause for a full three seconds before pushing back up.
This is going to be hard, but get a solid pause and maintain a tight body.
Knuckle Push Up
I personally like these because it takes wrist strain out of the equation, and you will like it too.
Perform a regular push up while using your knuckles instead of the palms of your hands.
Spiderman Push Up
Add some hip flexibility and mobility while you improve your posture and agility with this push-up variation.
Perform a push-up and as you lower to the ground, pull your right knee out toward your right elbow, straighten it, and finish your rep.
Alternate sides for as many reps as possible.
Lateral Hand-Walk Push-Up
This push-up variation will test your coordination and agility.
Perform a regular push up with your hands a little closer together and your feet out wide.
Perform a rep and move your hands wider while you place your feet closer. Alternate as many reps as possible.
Plyo Clapping Push Up
Develop some explosive strength and impress your friends with this variation.
This exercise requires full force, so drop a little faster in the eccentric phase.
Instead of pausing at the bottom, transition as fast as possible into the concentric phase and explode up and clap your hands.
Bring hands back down quickly to catch yourself and continue.
Alternating Reach Push Up
This is basically a one-arm push-up. These will be hard.
Perform a standard push up and on your upward phase, point one hand out in front of you.
Complete the rep, put down your hand and alternate arms.
Shoulder Tap Push Up
Pushing your core a little harder with this exercise makes it worth it.
Assume the standard push up position and complete one rep.
As you are in plank position, take one hand and tap the opposite shoulder.
Return your hand and alternate arms each rep.