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5 Push-Ups You Haven't Tried

5 Push-Up Variations You’ve Never Tried

Doing the same push-up over and over again is boring. Here are 5 push-ups you have never tried that are sure to challenge you, get you going and motivate you.

When I was in high school I started doing push-ups every night before bed and a set when I woke up in the morning. Eventually I was doing several sets a day, just when I had a minute or two to kill. For a while I even went through a phase where I would do 25 push-ups each commercial break during a television show. Needless to say, I have done tens of thousands of push-ups in my life.

I did them for a few reasons; first and foremost it does not take any time at all just to bust out a quick set of push-ups. Secondly push-ups work. If you want to develop the upper body I would say start with a base of push-ups, lots and lots of push-ups. You will get stronger, you will look better. The third reason I love push-ups is that I just needed a clear spot on the floor or ground to do them. Push-ups can be done anywhere!

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However doing the same push-up over and over again is boring. Here are 5 push-ups you have never tried that are sure to challenge you, get you going and motivate you. Give them a try today!

#1: The Reverse Push-Up

The Reverse Push-up is great for the wrists and shoulders, and even engages the bicep head which doesn’t normally happen on a push-up. When doing this push-up variation bring the arms in super tight to the body and turn your hands around so that your fingers are pointing towards your feet. Then do a push-up. The challenge here is the awkward hand position. This is also a great exercise for helping to build resilient injury resistant elbows, wrists and shoulders.

#2: The Lateral Step Over Push-Up

Alright, now we are starting to get funky, which I love! This push-up variation takes a little bit of practice and coordination. It is not quite as hard as it looks but it is pretty fun. Also it looks cool. Looks aside though this push-up will definitely get the shoulders and chest burning and it sneaks in some nice hip mobility too. This is a must try if you are bored with regular push-ups. I bet you haven’t done this one before!

#3: The Corkscrew Push-Up

I originally came up with this interesting push-up for my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners because the non-pushing arm is positioned tight to the chest and collarbone as if you were defending a choke. Then you have to roll and change your position while keeping the neck protected. Rolling is great for the body because it stimulates the vestibular system which helps with balance and proprioception. Also we are working on single arm pressing strength. This is definitely an out of the box push-up but there is a high level of movement sophistication going on here and a lot is involved. Try it and see for yourself!

#4: The Sidewinder Push-Up

Now we’re talking! This one is hard as a muthaf***a. The Sidewinder Push-Ups is almost like a contemporary dance move. It takes a lot of control and requires the hips and spine to rotate. Anytime we can get rotational patterns into what is normally a sagital (front) plane exercise we are taking it to the next level and doing a ton of good for the body.

Another dynamic of this movement is that the weight is constantly shifting cause the right and left side to perpetually be asymmetrically loaded. There is a lot of fancy words in this explanation, that is not as important as giving it a try for yourself and seeing how your body feels during this wild push-up variation. The last thing I will say is this; the key to this one is making it sexy. You want to be smooth and floating throughout the entire push-up!

#5: The Floating Lever Push-Up

As if we couldn’t get any more difficult this one takes the word “challenging” and sends it running. Professional disclaimer: this one takes practice; don’t be discouraged if you can’t do it yet. Once you get this one down you can bust it out at weddings, especially if you pair it with the Sidewinder. There is no easy way to describe it, so check the video out. You will notice the weight transfer as the lever floats from one side to the other. Also there is a slight hand placement adjustment so that you can support yourself. Get weird, have fun, try this push-up!

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Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the owner of Asylum Fitness in beautiful Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a Movement and Strength Coach that uses unconventional tools and methods to make his students a little better with each practice. His main focus is movement, he believes, “We were born to move. Reclaim your birthright.” He encourages his students and all those he meets to just play, similarly to when you were a kid, believing that play is the foundation of movement and movement is life. “By learning to move better and improving our mobility, everything falls into place.” he says. Mark is an Outdoor Fitness Enthusiast, is well versed in corrective exercises, and currently holds a level 1 FMS (Functional Movement Screen), and is a MovNat level 2 certified trainer and is always seeking to learn from the best. He also has a background in track and field, martial arts, ballroom dance, and currently is practicing parkour.

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