Step Up Your Pushups- Improve your strength, body control, and overall fitness

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The pushup is likely the first exercise that almost all of us learned to do. Its simplicity was deceiving for many of us because once we started doing them it took some time to master them. Of course now we can likely knock out several of them anytime and anywhere. That is, until you decide to challenge yourself and practice some more advance ways to perform this bodyweight classic.

By Roger Lockridge

Yes, you can elevate your feet which shifts the center of gravity and places emphasis on your upper pecs but that’s not one of the versions I’m talking about. You might have seen these before but have you committed to mastering them? Doing so can improve your strength, body control, and overall fitness.

Explosive Crossover Pushup

You will need a weight plate lying in front of you with the smooth side up. Get into your pushup position with your right hand on the floor and left hand on the plate. Lower yourself as you would a normal pushup. Explosively push yourself up and to the left. Your hands should leave the floor. Land with your left hand on the floor and your right hand on the plate. Repeat but this time explode in the opposite direction so your hands are where you originally started. That is one rep. Repeat for the desired reps.

Medicine Ball Pushup

This is going to challenge your core more than your chest. Take a normal pushup position but your hands should be positioned on a small medicine ball. Lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the ball. Pause for a second before pushing yourself back up. Once you push yourself back up, that is one rep. Repeat for the desired reps.

Spider-Man Pushup

You just heard the song for the TV show in your head didn’t you? While you won’t be shooting webs anytime soon, this version of the pushup will make you stronger. Take your standard pushup position. While you’re lowering yourself, being your left foot out and try to touch your left knee to your left elbow. Bring your leg back to where you started and finish the pushup. For your next pushup, do the same with the right leg trying to touch the right elbow. Once you finish the pushup that is one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Swiss Ball Pushup

This one will be a triceps torcher. You perform the pushups with your hands on a Swiss ball. This makes your triceps work harder to keep yourself balanced. Focus on keeping your elbows in to your side. Also make sure your core is braced tight. Your hands should be on the ball like you’re trying to grab it. Don’t perform this movement too fast or you could risk injury.


You’ll feel like a serious athlete every time you do this. Take your pushup position with a small hex dumbbell in each hand. Lower yourself as you would a traditional pushup. As you push back up, rotate to one side of your body upward. Pull that dumbbell to your side and then lift it straight on the air like you’re making a letter “T”. Lower the dumbbell back down so you’re back in the starting position. Repeat but turn the other way and lift the other dumbbell. That is one rep. Repeat for desired reps.


Work one of these into your routine and then swap it for another or make yourself a full workout with these versions on their own. However you include them in your plan, you’re sure to improve and see noticeable results within a month.

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