While body weight workouts may not elicit as pronounced muscle-building effects as heavy weight training, they are excellent for adding lean muscle, burning fat and increasing overall strength. One of the best benefits of bodyweight training is that it can be done almost anywhere with little to no equipment.

While some moves can be very challenging, others can become very simple to perform with just a few weeks of training. One of these “easier” moves is the push up. Although this compound exercise works a number of muscle groups, including your pecs, triceps, delts, lats and even your serratus anterior, it can become less challenging over time. So if you are able to do upward or 40 push ups in a single go, it might be time to increase the level of difficulty of the push up. How you ask? By performing one or more of the following push up methods.

1. Decline Push Ups

One of the easiest ways to increase push up intensity is to perform a decline push up. All you need to do is to elevate your feet using a stair or another stable surface like a box or a bench and perform a push up as you normally would.

Although your body is a decline position, the move works through the same plane as an incline press moving the emphasis to your upper chest and utilising more contribution from your front delts.

The great thing is that as you start to become stronger, you can elevate your feet more by moving up to the next step or using a higher bench. The more elevated your feet are, the more difficult the move becomes.

2. Perform Them In Conjunction With A Bodyweight Circuit

Doing mundane sets of push ups with rest in between can not only be boring, but can very pedestrian and easy to do. By incorporating your push ups into a bodyweight circuit training regimen, you will be pre-fatiguing your entire body and cardiovascular system before tackling a simple push up. Your 100 rep push ups will soon be dropping the harder you push the rest of your body.

3. Plyometric Push Ups

Plyometric movements make use explosive movements in which muscles exert a maximum force in short intervals of time. The goal of plyometric exercises is to help increase power (speed-strength). Couple plyo push ups in a bodyweight circuit and take your intensity to the next level.

4. Weighted Push Ups

If you are training with a partner, weighted push ups can help to increase push up intensity rather dramatically. While you are in a push up position, get your training partner to place a weight plate on your back and then perform a standard push up. The great thing about this is that you can continue to add weight until you can no longer perform push ups or are until to keep proper form. The weight on your back will also require your core to work harder throughout the movement.

5. To Finish Off A Chest Workout

If push ups have become so easy that you are easily pushing out 100 reps, then why not try mix up the order in which you perform them? By using push ups as a finisher to a big weighted chest day, those 100 reps will quickly turn into 20 reps. If you are still somehow able to do a decent amount of reps, then add a weight plate or two and I am sure you will be challenged to the max.

6. One Arm Push Ups

Once you have truly mastered the push up in all forms, it may be time to try the ultimate push up, which is the one arm push up. Besides having to be strong, the one arm push up also requires a great deal of balance and body awareness.

This move can be extremely difficult to master so to begin, start by leaning into a wall with one arm and pressing away from it while keeping your other arm at your side. As you become better at it, move from the wall to placing your hand on a bench and performing the movement. Once you have mastered the movement on a bench, drop down to the floor and give me 20!


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