Body weight exercises are so valuable to your exercise regimen because you have the ability to do them practically anywhere. So what do you do if you are an advanced level athlete and want something more challenging for your upper body than your typical pushup?
There are many very advanced pushup variations that can challenge the most advanced athletes. If you can perform at least 50 pushups in a row you should have the upper body strength to perform these challenging variations.
You no longer have an excuse not to get in a killer upper body workout with these incredibly challenging pushups. Try these out and let me know how you do. These will make you think twice about body weight exercises being for the weak and inferior!
#1: Superman Pushups
This is one of the hardest pushups on the planet.
Go down as if you are performing a normal pushup, and explode your hands and legs off the ground at the same time. Your feet will leave the ground and your hands will extend outward, as if to impersonate superman flying through the air!
#2: Decline Diamond Pushups
You will need to find a box or elevated platform approximately 12-18 inches off the ground.
Place your toes on the elevated platform, and extend your upper body out with your hands forming a diamond. Your pointer finger and thumbs should be pointed together.
Go down and keep your chest over your hands and perform the decline diamond pushup.
#3: Plyometric Pushups
This is one of the best upper body plyometric exercises. Remember that plyometrics means you utilize short explosive movements.
To perform a plyometric pushup, go down into normal pushup position, and explode your hands off the ground as far as you can go.
Think of driving your upper body into the air as explosive as you can on your way up.
#4: Side-To-Side Rockers
Lower your body into normal pushup position and stop about 2 inches from the ground. You will be in this position the entire time.
While holding your upper body off the ground, rock your upper body from the left and the right while maintaining your position 2 inches off the ground.
This is a great chest workout that hits the outer portion of your pectorals.
#5: Clapper Pushups
This pushup is very similar to the plyometric pushups, except you will be putting an extra emphasis on the center of your chest.
You will go down into normal pushup position, and explode off the ground on your way up. As you are ascending upward, clap your hands together and place them back into shoulder width position upon landing.
Gather yourself and quickly perform your next repetition. You should be able to get into a good rhythm with this one and keep your chest under tension.
#6: Decline Swiss Ball Pushups
You will need to get an inflatable swiss ball for this pushup.
You will be placing your feet on the swiss ball and your hands shoulder width apart as if you are performing a normal pushup. The unstableness of the swiss ball will force you to incorporate your abdominals into the exercise as well.
This is an advanced variation to the decline pushup.
#7: Slow Motion Pushups
Slow motion training is one of my favorite muscle building strategies. By keeping your time under tension at its maximum, you are really forcing your muscles to contract to their maximum capacity.
To perform a slow motion pushup, you will go down very slowly, to a count of 3 seconds. Pause the movement at the bottom for 1 second, and take 3 seconds to come up again. The total time under tension per pushup should be 7-8 seconds.
This one is going to burn but will help you build your chest much faster than regular pushups.
#8: Grasshopper Pushup
This is a very advanced pushup that will force you to incorporate your entire body into the movement.
You will start in the normal pushup position. As you come down, drive your right knee to your left hip and contort your body to keep a stable base as you descend. On your way up return the leg to the normal starting position. Switch legs and repeat the exact same movement.
This will be an added challenge for your upper body as well as your oblique’s.
#9: Judo Pushup
This is a pushup variation that puts a huge emphasis on your triceps.
You will start with your whole body arched upward, and your butt in the air. Think of your body forming a slight V.
You will lower your head to the ground with your body still slanting upwards to form a V. Once your head is close the ground, drive your head through the movement and lower your chest to the ground and upward again in a sweeping motion. This will put extra emphasis on the triceps.
Reverse the movement and go back to the starting position.
#10: Single Leg Knuckle Pushups
Another great pushup variation – this one emphasizes your upper chest.
You will place your hands shoulder width apart in the normal pushup starting position, and get down on your knuckles. Wrap one foot over another and place your leg on the ground in the center of your body. Go down slow and controlled in a normal pushup position and come up again.
This is a great pushup that will develop your upper chest and tricep muscles.