The push up is an essential exercise in any calisthenics workout routine. It is easy to learn and is used at all levels of training, wether your just getting stated or a pro athlete. When you think of a push up you are probably thinking of the classic two hands on the floor, outstretched legs, down and up motion. That is the one we all know and it works great. It utilises you chest biceps triceps and shoulder muscles. And gives you a full upper body workout. So why would you want to perform a variation of the push up when this one is so great? Well push up variations allow you to isolate specific muscle groups and work different muscle groups. This is something that the classic pull up can not provide. Now that you know why push up variations are beneficial. Here are the 8 essential push up variations you need to know.
Wide grip Push Up
To do this all you have to do is move your hands into a wider grip. A little further than shoulder width apart is best. This is not a big change from a classic push up. All it does is help work your shoulders more and is just a nice change from a classic push up. Try experimenting with different hand positions and find one that you like.
Diamond Push Up
If you are struggling to build mass in your arms but feel like you are doing tonnes of bicep exercises then diamond push ups are a great variation for you. It could be that the reason you aren’t seeing an increase in size of your arms is because you are not working your triceps enough. The diamond push up is perfect for this. All you need to do is create a diamond shape using the thumb and index finger of each of your hands and perform an up and down motion, simple as that!
Spiderman Push Up
Push ups already target your core but if you want to take it to the next level then try this one out. As you go down Bring one knee towards the elbow on that side. Then do the same on the other side. (This is supposed to look like spiderman climbing a building, hence the name)
Jumping Push Up
You have probably seen people do these before it is basically a more difficult version of a clapping push up. Lower yourself down as normal and then as you come up explode into the air bringing your legs off the ground too and then clap before you touch the ground. To begin with you can practice a clap push up without the jump and work your way up. This push up focuses on your chest.
Pike Push Up
Start off in the pike position with your hips as high as they can go bring your self down and up leading with your head. This one can be a little confusing so here is a short video explaining . Now you can target your deltoids and traps a lot more easily than you could with a classic push up. This is also a great way to build up to a hand stand push up because it works the muscles needed to perform one.
Now that you know these 5 essential push up variations hopefully you can switch up your workout routine and bring in some new exercises. Also if you would like to add more challenge and isolation into your push up consider purchasing some push up bars. And if you would like to learn more about calisthenics check out our article on Calisthenics and why it is better than going to the gym.