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The Top 15 Pushup Variations

Make the most out of this basic upper-body muscle builder.

Pushups are a barebones muscle-building exercise that’s incorporated in nearly every major athlete’s training program because they work. Simple as that. They target your arms, chest, and core, serving as one of the most efficient bodyweight movements you can do. Better yet, you can crank them out anywhere, anytime and easily up the intensity by changing the elevation, adding equipment, moving your hand and feet positioning, even adding instability. Actually, it’s best you add some variety; exercise tedium is as bad for your motivation as it is for your muscles. 

The 15 Best Pullup Variations >>>

Anthony J. Yeung C.S.C.S. and strength coach at PUSH Private Fitness came up with 15 variations to help diversify the moves in your arsenal. Ready to hit some muscles you forgot you had and your average pushup couldn’t dream of touching? 

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1) Wide-grip pushup 

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Target area: chest.

Start from a  normal pushup position but spread your hands wider than shoulder length. This will force your chest to pick up the brunt of the work from your triceps and shoulders

2) Narrow-grip pushup

Target area: triceps.

Do normal a normal pushup with your hands just a few inches apart from each other underneath your chest. 

3) T-pushup

Target area: full-body workout.

Start from the pushup position. Take one hand off the ground and raise it straight up in the air (making a T-shape out of your body). Keep your eyes locked on your raised hand. Repeat for your other side. Add dumbbells to the routine to increase the intensity of the workout. "T-pushups hammer your entire upper body," says Yeung. "Not only are you targeting your chest, but you're also strengthening your shoulders, opening up your thoracic spine [midback], and building rotational power through your core." 

4) Single-leg pushup

Target area: intensifies work on upper body and core.

Lift one leg up off the ground and do a set. Switch legs on the next set. 

5) Feet-elevated pushups

Target area: intensifies work on upper body and core.

Do a normal pushup, but with your feet elevated on a stable platform like a box or bench. The higher the platform, the more you'll work your shoulders, chest, core, and scapular stabilizers (the muscles that connect your neck, midback, and shoulders). 

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