"I work out with free weights and do sit-ups and pushups. I'm just trying to stay lean and active looking."
Pushups are easily the most iconic exercise in pop culture. From fictional characters like Rocky Balboa to iconic fighters like Bruce Lee, this exercise is an essential.
Most bodybuilders hate on this exercise, claiming it just won't stimulate the chest enough.
To me, however, everybody should implement some form of these in their program.
The reason most people hate on Pushups is because they think of its most basic version. Truthfully, this form will only be challenging for beginners. Once you can crank out about 20 of them, it's time to move on to tougher variations with better ranges of motion.
The benefits of bodyweight movements, as I mentioned in another post, are fairly extensive. Pushups, like many bodyweight movements, offer a natural range of motion for your body to move through.
How many guys do you know that have hurt themselves benching?
Probably a handful.
Now, how many guys have hurt themselves doing Pushups?
I doubt you even know one.
So, with all that in mind, let's dive into some sweet ways to increase your Pushup intensity.
The simplest way to make the basic Pushup more intense is to add weight. If you can do 20+ regular Pushups, put a 25 lb or 45 lb plate on your back and crank some out
Even if you get to the point where you can do Pushups with two 90 lbs on your back for high reps, you're probably at your genetic limit.
Though most pushups focus on letting the scapula move normally during the movement, this variation is essentially an upside-down Bench Press. Squeeze your shoulders back and grab on to a pair of dumbbells to lift yourself up and down.
Once you can do close to 15 reps on this, start adding weight to make it more effective. Just place a plate on your back and keep firing away!
One Arm Pushup
By far one of the toughest bodyweight movements you could do. To make it easier, spread your legs wide to balance your body more effectively. Also, try to stop your arm at 90 degrees so your shoulder doesn't hurt.
One concern is that doing these will lead to chest asymmetry. Frankly, this would only be the case if you do nothing but One Arm Pushups for your chest. Performing these in combination with Bench Press and other Pushup variations, however, will lead to an impressive chest.
There you have it guys; plenty of Pushup variants to maintain your lifting intensity.
Now take these tips and push through your next plateau.