The push-up: the exercise for real, hardcore men and women. It's the exercise used by nearly every fitness program to say, "Look at me! I'm fit, I'm healthy, I'm tough!"
We all know the classic push-up, but it's time to take it to the next level with the hardcore push-ups below.
1. Military Push-Ups
For the slightly hardcore that want to make the bodyweight exercise just a bit tougher, this is the one for you. Slide your hands backwards and close to your sides. This will engage the triceps and shoulders a lot more, and hits those chest muscles like a pro.
2. Leg-Kick Push-Ups
Now you're getting to be a bit more like Bruce Lee. Adding this kick will engage that core, and will help you to get a lot more flexibility in your hips and legs. Plus, as you're kicking out that leg, your arms, shoulders and chest are still holding your weight.
3. Band-Resisted Push-Ups
Using resistance bands to make the exercise tougher is the hardcore way to go. Run the bands around your back and feel the burn as you push up. It will turn those triceps into Superman-like bands of awesome, and you'll even get a workout on the negative portion of the exercise.
4. Triangle Push-Ups
This jiu-jitsu push-up is for the toughest men and women only. When you drop into the push-up, move your body towards one of your hands. This puts all the weight on that arm, forcing it to work harder. Switch arms to see them develop along with your chest.
5. Offset Push-Ups
Want to keep your muscles confused? Place one hand on a kettlebell or dumbbell, and do a push-up. Place the hand on the floor for a push-up, and place the other hand on the dumbbell or kettlebell for another push-up. The alternating heights of the push-ups will keep your muscles guessing--all the while epically shredding them!
6. Medicine Ball Push-Ups
This is only for the truly hardcore! If you think you're ready to spar with Captain America, this is for you. Place your hands and feet on three medicine balls, and use them to do a deep push-up. Every muscle in your upper body will be engaged as you try to keep your balance.
This is an exercise for the quick of hand and sure of foot. When you push back up, use your muscles to propel your weight off the floor and clap your hands in front of you. The toughest of you will try the double clap, or even the behind-the-back clap.
8. One-Arm Push-Ups
Ol' Onearm is the truest test of toughness, so get ready to press hard with that one hand. Make sure your weight is centered over that arm, and drop down low to push back up.
9. Alternating Grip Single-Leg Push-Ups
Talk about a long name for a tough exercise! One hand is extended for a regular push-up, while the other is by your side for a military push-up--all the while one leg is raised in the air. When you switch hands, raise the other leg. It's what they use at Galactic Hero Bootcamp!
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Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.