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  • Writer's pictureChris Cooper

5 Unique and Challenging Push-Up Variations

Push-ups are boring, said no one ever. However, if you're looking for some new ways to challenge yourself and your push-up skills, these 5 might be up your alley.

Band Resisted Push-Up

Adding resistance to your pushups can be a challenge. Chains work well but can move around a lot, and wrapping a band around your hands kinda feels awkward. If we use a rack, we can put a band around both sides and let it lay across your back.

You may have to army crawl your way under the band, but once in position, push yourself up to the top of the movement. One thing you'll notice is that as you go up, the resistance increases.

Feel free to add as many bands as you need to feel a challenge.

Tempo Push-Ups

If you're like most people that have mastered this exercise, you just crank them out at super speed. One way to combat that and make 5 push-ups feel like 5000 is to slow them down, on both the lowering part and the part where you push yourself up. Or push the Earth down.

Adding in a tempo stresses your muscles for a longer period of time which leads to more of a challenge, and will have your entire body shaking by the end.

To start off, try a 2 second up and down push-up and see how it goes. Then as you get stronger, you can increase the length of time.

Rollout Push-Up

This rollout push-up combo is intense. Using the landmine, you roll the barbell out with one arm as you lower into the push-up with the other.

It's pretty close to doing a one-arm push-up, without actually doing a one-arm push-up. This variation also gets the core working harder with the rollout portion of the movement.

Brace and as you lower yourself, roll the barbell out in front of you.

Elevated Rocking Push-Up

Rocking push-ups started as a way to use momentum to build up strength and endurance in a regular push-up. It was easy to build volume on the upper body.

Upgrade that rocking pushup from all fours to an elevated position and you get an exercise that works your legs as well as your arms and core.

Additionally, instead of pushing up towards the ceiling, you’re kinda pushing horizontally, getting the shoulders involved a bit more. So it's a hybrid between an overhead press and a push-up.

Stretch Push-Up

Stretch Push-ups use an increased range of motion for an added challenge, as you're putting the chest muscles in an increased stretch position, which is likely a weaker position. Provided you have healthy shoulders, lower yourself past your hands, increasing the tension on your chest, making sure the shoulder blades come together as you lower.

Take them slowly as you work on the mechanics, especially at the shoulder joint and open up your chest as you lower down. This increased range of motion can help lead to greater muscle growth, but it certainly leads to greater difficulty.

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