9 Ways to Increase the Difficulty of a Push-up (Part 1)
Posted Nov 03 2008 3:06pm
Think you’ve graduated from using the push-up in your program? You may want to reconsider. There are many benefits of including the push-up in your program including better core stability, upper body strength, and shoulder health.
The reason some lifters think they’ve graduated from this exercise is that the loading just isn’t the same as on the bench press as you’re only lifting 2/3 of your bodyweight.
Not only do these variations take a great exercise and progress it, but they can serve to add variety to your program and keep things interesting. Here are the first four ways to progress the difficulty of the conventional push-up.
Explosive Push-up –> Do you remember the clap push-up? From the up position, come down as in a normal push-up and push off the ground fast enough so that you’re upper body comes off the ground, allowing your to clap your hands in mid air. You don’t have to do the clap, and can instead decide to push as hard as possible. These will get you fatigued quickly and are great for upper body power.
Use Chains. I see many guys trying to balance plates on their back in an attempt to add external loading. I’ve tried this, and found it to be a pain in the butt. If you have access to chains, you can drape these over your back. You can make them even more difficult by simply adding more chains or moving them closer to your neck. It helps to have a partner help you out with these.
Use Bands. Take about a 1 inch band, loop your hands through the ends with the middle of the band behind your back. Get in normal push-up position so that your hands are over the ends of the band, keeping it in place while you perform the push-up.
Increase your range of motion. Putting your hands on blocks or using dumbbells will allow you to go down further on your push-ups. You’d be surprised at the difference a few more inches makes in doing your push-ups.
I’ll include the next 5 ways of increasing the difficulty of your push-ups in the next post so stay tuned!