5 Push Up Variations At Home

Learn these five great push up variations to develop your bent arm strength and prepare for handstand push ups and even out your straight arm training!


Why is it important to work on push ups?

If you are working on a lot straight arm skills like Planche, front lever and manna it’s important to have an equal amount of bent arm strength in your program. Push ups are an easy exercise you can add to your program to even out your straight arm and bent arm training. You can easily do them at home or wherever you are, and you can also change the difficulty with ease and there is no equipment needed!


The fundamental position

Let’s first start with some basic rules for all the push up progressions that are shown in the video. The starting position should always be the same. You want the toes pointed for good body tension, keep the legs straight, maintain posterior pelvic tilt, protract and engage the shoulders, keep the elbows locked and externally rotated.


Below you can check out all of the progressions

1. Incline Push Ups

The first exercise that you can get started with is the incline push ups. This is the first progression we use to develop our pushing strength. This variation gives us more leverage, and allows us to develop the correct technique before moving on to normal push ups on the floor. We adjust the difficulty of the progression by lower or increasing the height. The higher it is, the easier it is. As you get stronger you want to slowly decrease the height of the object.

2. Normal push ups

The next exercise will be regular push ups on the floor. These are done in the exact same way as the incline push ups, except they are in a different angle. Since we are more horizontal we get less leverage, and thus more strength Is needed. The most common mistakes here are too, arch the back, stick the butt up and not protracting the shoulders. This form is not acceptable, and this is the easiest time to fix this issue.

3. Decline push ups

The third exercise is the decline push ups. In this variation we decrease the leverage by elevating the feet. This can be done as a progression for the handstand push ups as well. The same principles applies to this variation, a nice hollow shape must be maintained throughout the push ups. Adjust the height of the object to adjust the difficulty. You can either do normal push ups or more of a pike push up if you want to prepare for handstand push ups.

4. Elevated push ups

The fourth exercise is elevated push ups. Here we elevate both the feet and the hands. This variation will be more difficult by allowing us to move through a larger range of motion. Since the floor is no longer in the way, we can go further and increase our range of motion. Again, only go as far down as you can come back up with proper form. Always quality before quantity. You can use a couple of chairs or gym benches. If you have access to a weight belt you can also add some weight here. 

5. Pseudo planche push ups

The last exercise is the pseudo Planche push ups. These are great to develop high level bent arm strength for skills like the bent arm planche and handstand push ups. You will basically do a normal push up, except you will add a Planche lean to it. So start in a normal plank, and then lean your shoulders as far over your wrists as you can, and then perform the push ups. Don’t go too fast, make sure to slowly increase the lean. This progression is difficult.

These are five basic push up variations that you can use to increase your bent arm strength and prepare for dips, handstand push ups, bent arm planche and more. You want to work between 5-6 repetitions on all of these progressions, and once you can complete those repetitions for a couple of sets you can move on to the next variation. Focus on a slow and controlled tempo, but explosive on the way up. Make sure to put in the time to develop the correct technique before moving on too difficult progressions. You can add this to your workout and try to work on the push ups 2-3x per week!



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