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How to Vary Your Push-Up Routine

Updated on June 19, 2013


To do a push-up you push yourself off the ground with your arms. I like push-ups because they are very simple and very effective. They also require very little time. I can do a quick push-up workout 4 days a week and change my body. By quick I mean less than 5 minutes. Push-ups can be done almost anywhere at anytime. I could drop and do some while watching TV during a set of commercials.

Push-ups mostly work the abdominal and tricep muscles. The triceps are the muscles on the back of your arm. While they are good for building muscle they also good for getting rid of fat because they burn calories. I was able to change my body a lot by doing push-ups. My abs became harder, my triceps became bigger and I became leaner. The brief workouts made me stronger,improved my looks and caused me to feel better.

Standard push-ups.
Standard push-ups. | Source

The Problem

When people think of push ups they think of standard push-ups and reps. That is the problem. There are lots of ways to push yourself off the ground with your arms so there are lots of push ups variations. Some people think push-ups are too hard, some people think they are too easy, some people think doing a large number of repetitions is good and most people think push-ups are too boring.

Stop thinking of standard push-ups as the only way to do push-ups.

The Solution

Push up to do a push-up instead of pushing yourself up in a specific manner. There are many ways to do it and you are not limited to pushing yourself up from a flat surface. Whenever you are about to do a set of push-ups choose how you are going to push yourself up and how many repetitions you want to do. Making up the push-ups as you go is not the best idea. I recommend making a list of push-ups first. You can do research or you can just use your imagination. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Doing push-ups on my stability ball.
Doing push-ups on my stability ball. | Source
Attempting a handstand push-up.
Attempting a handstand push-up. | Source
One handed push-up.
One handed push-up. | Source

Your Push-Up Routine

You can vary your push-up routine by doing different push up variations. Think of push-ups as a type of exercise. There are multiple ways to do it. You can also do your routine in different places, at different times and for different durations. Split it up or do it all in one workout session.


I don't think you should copy other people but it helps to learn what other people are doing. For my push-up routine I choose from a list. Five days a week I get the list out and pick a number of variations. The number of variations, repetitions per set and number of sets varies but I always try to get a good workout.

My list includes decline, incline, standard, diamond, wide grip, fast, exploding, sliding and handstand push ups. Recently I added incline and decline stability ball push ups. I move the location of my hands or the location of my feet and I alter the speed to do a different push-up variation. You could find lots of good push-up variations by doing that or you could spend a while searching the internet.

To get you started try doing a push-up. Then move your hands farther apart and do another. You should feel the difference. Next try doing a push-up with your feet on a chair and then with your hands on the chair and your feet on the ground.

Get onto the floor into the standard push up position and push yourself extra hard so your extended hands are off the ground. They are called exploding push-ups. Once you have the basics down you can decide how you want to do them.


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