5 Killer Pushup Variations for Building Upper Body Strength

Killer Pushups

Pushups may not be the fanciest or most complex of exercises, but there’s a reason that they’re a part of every workout routine that’s worth its salt. Pushups are the meat and potatoes of bodybuilding, the hearty staple around which everything else is built. Another thing they have in common – they come in a surprisingly wide variety that belies their reputation for being plain and boring. So, if you’re looking to build upper body strength, grab yourself a protein bar and start working these pushup routines into your workout.

Standard Pushup

This is the basic pushup that everyone knows: lay down on the ground with your palms flat on the ground and lined up with your shoulders, then use your arms to lift your body off the ground. It’s a simple and unglamorous exercise, but it works – a standard pushup works out your shoulders, chest, triceps, and core, all at the same time.

Knee-to-Elbow Pushup

Assume the standard pushup position, but with your hands formed into a fist and your knuckles lying on the ground. When you lift up, hold the position and bring your right knee up to your left elbow. Hold for a few seconds, then bring your leg back and lower yourself to the ground. Repeat, switching which leg you stretch each time.

This variety of pushup works your abdominals, hip flexors, and back through body rotation, as well as giving your chest and triceps the same workout they’d get from a standard pushup.

Wide-Grip Pushup

These are the same as standard pushups, except your hands are spread out further from your shoulders in a wider stance. By moving your arms wider, you’ll force your chest muscles to do the majority of the work, giving your triceps and shoulders an incredibly great workout. If building upper body strength is your main goal, then wide-grip pushups should absolutely be a part of your bodybuilding routine.

Upper Body Strength

Single-Leg Pushup

Perform a set of ten pushups with your left leg held up in the air. When you’re finished, do another set of ten, this time with your right leg held up. Just like the wide-grip pushup changes the muscle groups that get the brunt of the workout, single-leg pushups focus the workout on the upper body and core, which makes them a great strength-building exercise.

Triangle Pushup

Assume the standard pushup position, but with your knuckles flat on the ground instead of your palms. Lift up, then lower your chest to your left knuckle. Lift up again, then lower your chest to your right knuckle. Repeat for a full set.

The benefit of triangle pushups is that it forces one arm to bear a heavier load, building up the muscles in that arm faster. The change in body angle also causes more muscles to be stimulated, working out muscle groups that standard pushups can miss.

Ready to get started with your new pushup routines? Then you’ll need plenty of protein to power through your workout. Promax Nutrition protein bars are made from only the healthiest ingredients, and include none of the high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or artificial sweeteners included in lesser protein bars.