The pushup is one of the most basic but effective moves for strength and conditioning.
This humble muscle-building exercise trains the muscles in your chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs. Add the slightest tweak and that burn can quickly shift from a killer chest pump to a brutal ab ripper. While there are countless variations—some of which require near-superhuman strength—these modifications are suitable for both beginner and intermediate athletes.
Men's Fitness' Mike Simone demonstrates each variation in the video above.
1. Traditional pushup
The basic starting point.
2. Wide-grip pushup
Engages the shoulders more.
3. Close-grip pushup
Engages the triceps more.
4. Clap pushup
Improves power and explosiveness.
5. One-leg pushup
Engages the core more.
6. Dead-stop pushup
Also known as a "hand-release pushup," this can help ease tension on the joints.
7. Eccentric pushup
Emphasizes the muscle-lengthening phase of the pushup, enabling you to change the stimulus on your muscles.
8. Spider-Man pushup
Engages the core more and improves hip mobility.
9. One-armed incline pushup
Forces the chest to work in an unbalanced state.
10. Decline pushup
Works more of the upper chest and shoulders.
11. Incline pushup
Works more of the lower chest and triceps.