How To Make Push Ups Harder
When it comes to push-ups, we think they’re somewhat underrated exercises, particularly if you get used to benching heavy weights. However, push-ups are a great on the go workout that can be done literally anywhere. With that said, we know that for some fitness fanatics, a simple push up just simply won’t cut it anymore. That’s why we’re on hand with 10 types of push-ups you can try out that are sure to make push-ups a harder workout.
1. Negative Push-Ups
The clues kind of in the name. These types of push-ups focus on the movement which is the most substantial portion of each rep. Simply lower yourself over 3- seconds before exploding back up. This type of action increased the time under pressure, leading to major strength and gains.
2. Single Leg Push-Ups
Simply lifting a leg is one of the most straightforward ways to make a push up more difficult. As soon as you lift one leg, your core will be working harder to keep your body both straight to the ground and square. All you need to do is get into a standard push up position before lifting one leg and getting to work.
3. Resisted Push-Ups
If you’ve not tried incorporating resistance bands into your work out, you really should do. Again, these are a super simple way to add the difficulty to your workout. By slipping on a band, you’ll be accommodating further resistance which will increase as the length of the band increases, stimulating your strength during the complete rep opposed to just at the bottom portion when you’re weakest.
4. Suspended Push-Ups
If you’ve got access to a TRX and you’ve not already tried suspended push-ups, it’s about time you did! By adding instability with your feet suspended, you’re instantly making a push up more difficult, not to mention challenging your core and shoulder stability like never before. To try these out, simply place your feet in the straps of your TRX and get to work on your push-ups, making sure you keep your core tight.
5. Dumbbell Push-Ups
Similar to suspended push-ups, using a dumbbell will create an element of instability. By holding onto dumbbells, you give yourself an extra couple of inches to lower yourself down to the ground, ultimately building extra strength. To do them, simply set up your dumbbells parallel to each other, either side of your shoulders. Take hold of the handles and continue with your push-ups as normal, lowering yourself an extra few inches as you do.
6. Myotatic Pushups
Sure, the name would suggest this is a little complicated, but these are actually a lot more straightforward than you might first think. To break it down, a myotatic push up involves one full push up followed with a quarter rep. Once you try it you’ll get the hang of it and feel it working. To give it a go, you just need to lower and then push yourself just a quarter of the way up. Then drop yourself back down before immediately exploding entirely up. As we said, this is one you need to try to really grasp.
7. Chain Push-Ups
Chain push-ups are another type that accommodates resistance as part of your workout. This one is best carried out with a workout partner so they can pull off the chains mid-set if you get fatigued, a similar concept to drop sets. To try this one out, you need to drape chains across the upper part of your back to create an X configuration with one end over your shoulders and the other under your arms before getting to work.
8. Isometric Push-Ups
If you’re looking for a variation that’s intense, this is one for you. In fact, we’d go as far as saying an isometric push up is brutal. An isometric push up requires you to hold the bottom position, which is undoubtedly the most challenging part of the rep. By increasing the time under tension, the upward portion of each rep becomes more difficult, working you a whole lot harder. To try this out, simply drop down as normal before holding your position for 3-4 seconds before exploding back up.
9. Weighted Push-Ups
One of our favorite methods of adding difficulty is by adding weight. You can do this with a weighted vest or supporting plate, whichever works best for you. We’d recommend a weighted vest, if you’re using a plate, be sure to do it with a partner present. If you’re using a vest, you should tighten the vest tightly, while ensuring it’s comfortable. When you’re doing the push-ups, be sure to ensure your core is tense as adding extra weight can tend to cause a slight drop in your back.
10. Med Ball Push-Ups
Last but not least, the med ball push up. Similar to the suspended push-ups, these take about the stability you’ll get from a regular push up. You can achieve with just one medicine ball to work your triceps or two if you’re feeling up for a mega challenge. To try these, put your hands on the ball and get into a push-up position before performing as normal while keeping your elbows close to your sides. When you’re using two balls, be cautious not to let either ball slip away from your grip.
If you’re looking to step up your push up game, choosing any of these variations is sure to do exactly that. You can also choose to combine them if you’re feeling up to a challenge. As with all workouts, it’s best to find what works for you and your abilities while listening to your body to avoid any injuries. Remember, workouts can be fun too!