If you want to get results... you have to push your comfort zone.
And one of the best ways to do that is by making small tweaks to exercises you normally do.
I tell members of FWW LIVE to tweak their pushups when we do pushups.
Rather than do normal pushups like me when I'm leading the online class... do kettlebell pushups instead.
You'll get stronger a lot faster by doing this.
So let's look at pushups in this post.
10 Advanced Pushup Variations
1. Kettlebell Pushups
These are one of my favorites.
They are a little tough on the wrists... so make sure you're warmed up.
These also work best with kettlebells that have one side that is 100% rounded.
Lay two kettlebells on their rounded side
Put your hands on the kettlebells... rolling them so the handle is also off the ground.
Keep the handle off the ground as you do your pushups
This variation is powerful because it forces you to flex your arms and chest to maintain balance on the kettlebells.
With more muscle activation... your pushups will be much better.
2. Slider Lizard Pushups
Get some carpet sliders at your local hardware store. They're inexpensive and can be used for so many exercises.
I bought a set of 8 for $12 from Home Depot.
There's two ways to do this exercise.
1. The Non-Plyometric Way
Stagger your arms so one arm is in-front of the shoulder... the other arm is next to your chest.
Do a pushup keeping the back arm's elbow close to your body.
The other arms elbow goes out to the side.
After one pushup... slide the sliders and repeat.
It's machine like... each movement is distinct.
2. The Plyometric Way
Everything stays the same... BUT... now you go really fast and as your pushing up... you're also sliding and changing the slider position.
There is a plyometric component to this version. It's tough but great for power and coordination.
It's smooth and it's graceful.
3. Slide Pike Up To Pushup
Yikes! This is a tough one.
Grab your sliders. I'm telling you... they are awesome.
1. Start in a plank with your feet on the sliders.
2. Pike up so your hips are high
To pike up... keep your legs straight and stiff.
Using your core... you bring your feet in and your hips go high in the sky.
3. When you get in... stay tight and do a pike pushup.
Remember, your head goes a little in-front of your hand position.
Then return to normal and keep repeating.
4. Feet On Kettlebell Pushups
This is similar to the first version we talked about... just opposite.
1. Start with the kettlebell on its round side.
2. Put one foot on it and have your hand in place.
3. Bring the other foot over top of the first foot... criss crossed.
4. Roll the kettlebell handle off the ground and pushup.
This is so good because just like the first version... it forces your legs to be engaged and muscles turned on.
Your legs will be flexing...
Your core will be tight...
You'll even discover your upper body is tight too...
Your pushups will be stronger and you'll use more muscle over all.
5. Close Grip Kettlebell Pushup
Be-careful with this variation.
Anytime you are doing a pushup or exercise on the handle of the kettlebell... be careful.
Use a bigger bell if you have one because you don't want the kettlebell to accidentally tip over.
Plus on this variation... you'll need more handle room so a bigger kettlebell is very helpful. (I am using a 35 lb kettlebell in the picture.)
The key is to do the pushup with a slower tempo to keep balance.
Go to fast... lose balance... maybe the kettlebell tips over... WHOA... that escalated quickly.
Soooo... engage your body and take your time on this one.
6. Tiger Cub Pushup
I'm sure this has a different name but I call it the Tiger Cub.
And yes... of course...
We'll look at the Tiger pushup next.
1. Start in a top of pushup plank.
2. Rock back to your forearms at the same time... your hips go high into the sky.
3. Push HARD into the ground with your hands and come back to the top of a pushup plank.
This is a tricep extension exercise. So you'll feel it burn more in your triceps and it's great for shaping your arms up.
Plus you get all of the benefits of total body engagement.
7. Tiger Pushup
I learned this from my mentor, Jason Brown.
And it's really tough... you can even do it in reverse and it gets harder.
1. Start in a top of pushup plank.
2. Rock back to your forearms at the same time... your hips go high in to the sky.
3. Stay low and push through so you're in a bottom of pushup position.
4. Pushup to the top of a pushup plank from there.
This is tough to get at first and it takes some serious strength. So practice.
If you think you have this down... try going in reverse... it's intense!
8. Archer Pushups
These are tough... listen to your body.
You're going to go wide... WIDE... with your hand position.
Notice in the picture how the fingers of my hands are pointed out... not forward.
1. Move down towards one side... elbow stays tucked.
2. Come up and move over to the other side.
Try to keep your hips from sways as much as you can.
These take practice and some real strength build up to them... a great exercise to work on are the lizard pushups.
Eventually you want to go from side to side with a smooth... easy looking motion.
9. Bear Pushups
Okay... so these aren't that advanced.
But they provide a great leg burn... something you don't get a lot of in a pushup.
1. Start in bear position... your feet direction under your hips and knees an inch off the ground.
2. Stay in bear as long as you want because the longer you go... the harder it gets.
3. Jump your feet back to top of pushup plank and complete a pushup.
4. When you're done... hop back into bear position.
This variation is a great endurance builder and like I said... the longer you sit in bear... the more you quads will burn.
When you're holding your bear position... make sure you keep your shoulders over your wrists and your knees under your hips.
Do this and you'll quickly feel the quad burn!
10. Dumbell Plyo Pushups
This is a fun pushup but BE CAREFUL!
You're hopping your hands up on to a very small surface... a dumbbell.
If you miss... you can injure your wrists. So proceed with caution.
What I love about this style of plyo-pushup is... it's not has intense as a real plyo pushup. (But it does require mental focus... I like that!)
You only have to jump a short distance.
The key is to fall into the next pushup though. Don't land hard on your wrists... land falling into the next pushup.
Here's How To Use These Pushups
When you're doing your workouts...
And "they" call for pushups... do one of these variations instead.
I have an online studio called Fit Women's Weekly LIVE (FWW LIVE). Dan and I lead every workout in person so... when we do pushups... you do kettlebell pushups instead.
If you fall behind the rep count... that's okay.
Just move on with us to the next exercise and take note of how many pushup you did complete.
Next round when you do them again... try to beat that number.
Of maybe you'll be so tired you need to go back to normal pushups or box pushups.
The point is to work these variations in.
The more you do... the stronger you get.
If you have any specific questions...
Join a 14 day FREE trial (class pass) of FWW LIVE . You can talk to me and Dan in person and we'll answer your questions in a very detailed videos.
Of you can direct message me on social media too.
But trying FWW LIVE for 14 is a much better option!