Pushup variations uses the same muscles but just puts more focus on different muscles and in different ways. Variety shakes things up a bit – they keep you from getting bored of the same exact moves over and over, but they also keep your muscles from getting burned out.
Do pushups hurt your wrists? Some people experience discomfort in their wrists if they put their hands flat on the floor. I find it a lot more comfortable to hold dumbbells. There are also pushup handles and also rotating discs with handles called the Perfect Pushup...these add a twist to things because you can rotate your hands as you go up and down, putting even more emphasis on your muscles!
The following pushup variations have to do with the placement of your hands…
Wide Grip Pushups: Placing your hands further apart puts more emphasis on the chest.
Diamond Pushups: Bringing your hands close enough for your first fingers and your thumbs to touch makes the shape of a diamond…it also makes it a lot harder on your triceps because your arms have to flex at the elbow a lot more. In the down position, the center of your chest should be over your hands.
Narrow Grip Pushup: Placing your hands about shoulder width apart and a little lower with your elbows closer to your body focuses on the triceps and the front of the shoulders.
Staggered: Placing one hand slightly higher than your shoulder and the other hand lower (approximately even with your lower ribs) is an interesting variation!
Here's a few more varieties...
Arm and/or leg lift: As you come up from the body, lift and extend an arm and the opposite leg up and out – like Superman!
T Pushups: In the up position, rotate your body and raise your arm straight up...hold for a second, return to normal position and push up, then repeat with other arm.
Leaning Pushups: Bring your feet closer toward your hands, stick your butt in the air. This puts a lot more emphasis on your shoulder muscles than regular pushups!
Knee to Elbow: At the bottom position, bring your left knee up towards your left elbow...push up, repeat on other side.
Leg Swing: At the bottom, swing your leg out to the side. Repeat on other side.
Scorpion: At the bottom, bend your knee and try to touch your foot to your butt...repeat on other side!
Pushups with a row: Do pushups while holding dumbbells...at the top do a row, bringing the dumbbell toward your lower ribs. Return it, pushup again and row with the other arm. This is a great exercise!
These are just a few pushup variations to spice things up a bit. Pushups can be done anywhere without any equipment. What kind of variations can YOU come up with?