Contrary to popular belief, there’s far more to the practice of push-ups than the standard/generic variation most seem to stick with religiously. In fact, there are dozens of push up variations out there which if alternated or used in careful combination with one-another have the potential to add some serious improvements to upper-body strength.

As the best personal trainer, I can tell you that the secret to boosting results is that variety is indeed the spice of life. So with this in mind, here’s an example of five sure-fire push up variations known for the exceptional benefits to upper-body strength:

#1. Suspended Push Ups


These are the kind of push-ups that demand some kind of suspension trainer or gymnastic rings to practice. In addition, suspended push-ups are considered extremely advanced and should only ever be practiced by those already in a generally excellent state of health and ideally under supervision.

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By holding onto rings or rails that are suspended above the ground and doing the push-ups while effectively suspended in the air, overall impact is vastly higher than the conventional alternative.

#2. Chains Pushup


This is a simple variation of push ups using weights to increase impact and is considerably easier and more approachable for those just looking to step things up for the first time. Chain push-ups involve the use of a heavy chain being placed across the shoulders of the individual so as to add gentle and evenly-distributed weight and increase the overall effectiveness of the exercise. Chains are considerably safer and more comfortable than trying to balance cumbersome weights.

#3. Suspended Chains Push Up


Add both of the above methods together and what you come out with is an incredibly demanding and high impact standard variation of push ups known as suspended chain push-ups. Again, the use of chains is much safer and more comfortable than the use of conventional weights, though given the high-impact nature of the exercise this should always be practiced with assistance or supervision.

#4. Handstand Pushups


Often seen as a way of showing-off…and rightly so…handstand pushups require an extraordinary level of upper-body strength and have the potential to take current progress to the next level and beyond.

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It’s also necessary to possess superb balance and know when to call it quits should blood-flow to the head become overbearing – both very good reasons to practice under supervision. And of course, the vertical surface used to rest on must be safe and secure, as must the surrounding floor area.

#5. Power Wheel Push-Ups


Last but not least, the power-wheel push-up is a remarkably effective if unusually looking exercise which pound for pound is also one of the most challenging anyone is every likely to do. The practice involves the use of a power wheel attached to the feet, which it then used as the individual walks forwards on their two hands doing a single push-up each and every time their hand touches the ground.

This is an incredibly intensive exercise and puts extreme force on each arm and shoulder separately depending on position at the time, therefore once again is strongly advised to be carried out under supervision.

These are the best push up variations you can concentrate on to increase your upper body strength. Let us know what do you think about this topic by leaving your feedback and suggestions in the comments below.