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Not only are push-ups excellent for developing core strength and working different muscle groups, there is no end to the ways you can challenge yourself, or adapt your push-up to suit your ability. Here are some popular variations. If you have health issues or concerns, please check with your doctor before starting Push4Men.
1. Standard push-up
Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and assume a plank position. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor, almost touching it with your nose or as far as you can get. Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms and repeat. A push-up will work your pec muscles, your triceps, your shoulders and improve stability.
2.Half knee push-up
- You can still build tricep, chest and core strength by resting your weight on hands and knees.
- Engage your core to push up, with your chest hovering just above the floor.
- Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and your spine is flat and not arching. If possible, get someone to check that it looks straight.
- Try starting this position by laying on your stomach and bending your knees so your feet are up in the air, then push with your hands into position on your knees.
3. Wall push-up
Assume the starting position with feet and legs together, standing about a short distance from a wall with your arms straight out in front of you.
Bend your elbows and begin to lean your body toward the wall until your nose almost touches it. Push back to the starting position and repeat.
4. One handed-wall push-up
Same as above but try with one-hand, and alternate sets, placing one hand behind your back.
5. Push-up while sitting down
Sit on a bench or chair with your palms down. Push down on your palms so that your body lifts up a few centimetres while remaining in a seated position with your knees bent. A great one for building arm strength.
6. Incline push-ups
Place your hands, shoulder width apart, on the edge of an elevated surface. This could be a step, a bench, a table or a kettle bell, just make sure it is stable. Step back keeping your legs straight and your arms perpendicular to your body. Lower your chest to the edge of your platform and push back to your starting position with your arms fully extended.
7. Hand tap
Pause at the top of the push-up and use one hand to give the other a friendly tap. Switch hands after each rep. This will help improve balance and shoulder stability.
8. Shoulder tap
Same as the hand tap, but this time tap the opposite shoulder with one hand
- Maintain a plank pose and rotate to one side, lifting one arm up into the air and holding there for a few seconds.
- As you come down, place both palms on the ground then rotate to the other side and lift your free upper arm up into the air. Great for your shoulders and obliques.
10. Single-leg raised
Perform a standard push-up but as your nose is close to the floor, raise one leg into the air for a few seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
11. Single arm raise
- Before you begin your descent with a standard push-up, raise one arm forward. Repeat with the other arm at the top of the extension. Great for the core!
- Bring one knee up the side of your body toward your elbow as you push down. Bring it forward and back with each push-up.
- Alternate between legs.
- Same as spiderman but instead of moving your knee to the side, bring it up close to your chest.
- Alternate between legs.
Men’s Health Warrior
14.Wall-assisted handstand push-up
Do a headstand, c’mon you know how. Push up and down from this position. Yes, you may use a wall to help with balance.
- Proceed as with a normal push-up but when you lift, clap your hands between each set.
16. High flyer
Using a little more pep in your push-up, lift your whole body into the air as you push up.
17. One-armed bandit
Proceed as with a normal push-up but with one arm behind your back. Remember to swap sides.
18. Dapper Clapper
Same as No.15 but this time clap once in front of your body and once more behind it before landing.
19. My oh thigh
Push your whole body off the floor and slap your thighs with both hands before landing.
20. Alternating side medicine ball
Keeping the ball still, push up and over to the other side so you can switch the elevated hand.
Show us how you Push
We'd love to see how you pimp your push-ups. Don’t forget to share your favourites on social media using the hashtag #Push4Men.
1. First, check with your doctor if you have any health concerns that might prevent you from taking part in Push4Men. Make sure you choose a suitable level, especially if you are new to push-ups.
2. Don’t rush your push-ups. Go for a smooth, easy repetition, inhaling has you push in and exhaling as you push out.
3. If you need extra cushioning, use a mat or towel when doing kneeling push-ups.
4. Look at the ground as you lower down, avoid straining your neck.
5. Make sure your shoulders, hips and ankles are aligned.
6. Build your capacity steadily and try a few variations to maintain interest and core strength.
7. If you are new to push-ups, start with sets of 5 or fewer and build capacity.