With just the push-up and the pull-up (and its variations) you can build a much more complex and deep workout routines than most people that go to regular gyms. Taken to that you will develop a very strong, well shaped and defined upper body muscles. Which will later help you progress onto harder and more challenging gymnastics moves.
So in this article I will demonstrate all the variations of the push-up exercise that I will present to you in the workouts provided on this website.
1. Standard Stance Push-Up
The standard stance is just the regular push-up I demonstrated in the push-up tutorial. Within this variation your hands should go just about shoulder-width apart. Also, your elbows should point towards your feet and not out! It will target mainly your triceps and chest.
2. Wide Stance Push-Ups
In this variation your hands should go wider than the standard stance and your elbows should point to the sides. The wide stance is typically easier for most people. That’s so because it involves much more shoulders and less triceps. I remember that this variation of the push-up boosted my shoulders so much that everything else in my body seemed under-developed.
3. Narrow Stance(Diamond Push-ups)
The narrow stance push-up is my personal favourite push-up variation for it puts more stress on the chest and triceps than all the other variations. In this variation your thumb and forefinger of one of your hands should touch the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand(as illustrated on the photo above). These push-ups are also referred to as diamond push-ups because the space that’s formed in between your thumbs and forefingers resembles a diamond. If you want to increase the intensity in this push-up variation just get the fingers of your right hand to go over the fingers of your left hand(in other words – decrease the size of the diamond in between the thumbs and the forefingers). This will put even more stress on your triceps!
4. Declined Push-Ups
Once the normal push-up variations get too easy(when you pass 25 repetitions) you should increase the load. Obviously unlike the bench press exercise in the gym you can’t add more weight to yourself unless you have a weighted vest. Well you can, but you will need a partner and it’s hard to balance the plates on your back. I wanted to buy a weighted vest but the one for my needs was in the range of $150-300 so that’s why I decided to go with something simpler. In this variation you need to get your feet on a chair and thus elevate your lower body. This will immediately increase the stress in your upper body during the exercise. Once this gets easy just replace the chair with something taller.
5. Ruberband Push-Ups
Similar in their nature to the declined push-ups are the rubber band push-ups. I specifically love this push-up variation for it allows me to vary the stress on my upper body very easily just by replacing one rubber band with another. Also the load the bands will provide you with surpasses by far the one you can get by the declined push-ups. Also you can carry your rubber bands everywhere with you(even if you are working out outside). Rubber bands like the one I am using for my workouts you can get from http://www.ironwoodyfitness.com
6. Divebomber Push-Ups
In this variation one has to resemble diving during the push-up. Start with your feet and hands straddled apart and your back arched. As you go down for a push-up imagine there’s an invisible fence just above your fingers that you have to “dive” under. Continue the movement until your arms are extended and your back is completely arched downwards. Return to the starting position imitating the same motion. This one variation could be a little challenging for it requires additional arm strength to ensure the smoothness of the “diving”.
7. Fist Push-Ups
The push-ups on the fists will strengthen your fists(perfect for fighters). Another important thing about them is that they take away all of the tension in the wrists. Whenever I start feeling like my wrists are getting tired I switch doing push-ups on my fists instead.
8. Fingertip Push-Ups
Another variation of the push-up that will strengthen your fists by strengthening your fingers is the fingertip push-up. Another profit of this variation is that once the person gets on his fingertips, the push-ups immediately become “deeper”. The range of motion increases and you can reap more out of it.
9. Clapping Push-Ups
This variation is all about explosive speed and coordination. Once you go down, push up as powerful and strong as you can. Your goal is to accumulate enough momentum so that you can gain some air-time for yourself to perform a clap. To make it more challenging, once the one clap push-up gets easy you can attempt a two claps push-up.
10. One Legged Push-Ups
Partially like the clapping push-up this variation focuses on coordination and balance. Lift one of your legs in the air and keep it there as you are performing your push-ups. It will bring a bit of additional stress on your arms as you are going to have less space to balance on with your lower body.