One of the very fundamental bodyweight exercises are push ups. If you do a lot of bodyweight work, you're probably doing tens and maybe even hundreds of push ups every week.
Some exercises will always be awesome, no matter what the new fitness trend will be. Squats and pull ups are the same–there's no exercise that could one day simply come and replace them. They're just so good and effective.
But if you do same things over and over again, you may get bored. The good thing about these fundamental exercises is that there are several ways how you can vary them. Here are the things what you could do differently time to time:
- Vary the number of reps. If you're always doing ten push ups, change that in some workouts and do twelve or fifteen instead. Increase the number to get stronger! Doing more reps also improves your muscular endbaurance.
- Change the number of rounds. Are you always doing the same three rounds of each exercise? Switch things up and do four or five next time.
- Vary the number of reps and rounds. If you do a higher number of reps, you may want to do less rounds. If you lower the number of reps, add one more round.
- Change the speed. When you're doing high intensity workouts, you probably want to do as many reps as possible in one round, so you're working fast. However, it's a good idea to slow down sometimes and do your reps really, really slow, focusing on technique and making sure that every rep was done really perfectly.
- Try isometric holds. For example in push ups, you may try to hold the low position (where your elbows are bent and chest close to the ground) for three counts before pushing yourself up.
- Vary the exercise. This is what we're going to talk about today–how you can make your push ups more interesting.
Five Ways to Add Variety to Your Push Ups
First, let's quickly take a look at the regular push ups.
It's important to remember that push ups are not only arm and chest exercise. It's also excellent for your core. Tuck that core in when doing push ups. Also remember to squeeze your butt!
There are many ways how to do your push ups a little differently, and I'm going to show five of the ones that I use in my own workouts.
Because I like high intensity workouts, I add some other movements to my regular push ups so that doing them gets my heart rate up a bit more than usually.
Push Up with Mountain Climber Jumps
This one is a surefire way to add intensity and also involve legs a bit more.
Do a push up, then quickly follow with two fast mountain climber jumps.
Push Up with V Jump
Do a push up, then quickly jump your legs into letter V position so that your feet come as close to your hands as possible. Quickly jump back into your starting position.
Triceps Push Up with Knee Tuck
This exercise works your triceps and shoulders, but the added knee tuck will help you to add intensity to this movement.
Find a bench or box. Do a triceps push up, then follow with a quick knee tuck. Do another push up and repeat the knee tuck with the other leg.
Traveling Push Up
In this movement, you'll be moving between the push ups, which helps you to improve endurance.
Do a push up, then walk 3-5 steps on your hands, then do another push up. “Travel” back and do a push up again.
Challenge Your Balance
Push Up with Shoulder Tap
In this movement, for a short second you'll be on your one arm only. That means that you have to balance your body well, and really work that core.
Do a push up, then touch your opposite (or same side) shoulder. Repeat.
Bodyweight exercises don't have to be boring! There are ways to make them more exciting. You can vary the number of reps, rounds, intensity and technique.
Never under estimate bodyweight workouts. They're not less worth than exercises with additional weight!
Question: Do you do bodyweight exercises? How do you keep them interesting?