Extreme Push-Ups: 3 Variations To Really Amp Up Your Training

The push-up is one of the most common exercises when individuals are trying to increase their upper body strength. However, what do you do when these standard push-ups no longer provide a challenge for you and leave no room for improvement? To keep your push-ups challenging and working your body, here are three variations that will help you take your push-ups to the next level:

1. Push-Up with Feet Elevated

This particular push-up is going to help you focus more on the upper chest and back because you will have more weight placed on the upper body. You will still work your triceps, but the primary muscles being worked will be the chest and shoulders, particularly the serratus anterior muscles.

In order to do this, you will want to find an object that is roughly 12 inches high or higher depending on your current level of fitness. Get into a push-up position and place your feet on this object rather than the ground. Perform a push-up as you normally would by lowering your chest to the floor while your forearms remain vertical and push yourself back up. Repeat. Start off by doing three sets of 10 reps with a two-minute rest in between.

2. Push-Up with Suspension Trainer

With a suspension trainer, there is a certain amount of instability. This requires you to enhance your motor skills and work harder on your triceps, shoulders and chest. In the end, you'll improve both your strength and stability.

In order to perform this exercise, you will want to ensure your handles are roughly shoulder-width apart and a foot to two feet off the floor. More than likely, your gym already has a few of these set up. Hold onto each of the handles and get into the push-up position with your legs extended. Begin by lowering yourself to the floor until your chest is even with your hands. Now, push yourself back up and repeat. Start off by doing three sets of eight reps with a two-minute rest in between.

3. Push-Up with Medicine Ball

If you're looking to increase power on top of strength and stability, you may want to try doing your push-ups with a medicine ball.

To begin, place a firm medicine ball under one of your hands while you are in the push-up position. Make sure your feet are wider apart than your hips and keep your core as tight as possible. When you do your push-up, explode upwards so that your hand on the floor will come up off the ground and become even with your other hand that is on the ball. Hold yourself here for a second and lower yourself to the floor. Start by performing three sets of four reps for each side with a two-minute rest in between.

If you're worried about trying these exercises alone, you may want to consider speaking to a personal trainer at your local gym. A trainer will be able to work with you to determine the best exercises to help you accomplish your goals, while keeping an eye on you to make sure you stay within your health boundaries. To find out more about training, contact a company like Superior Strengthening Systems.