Power Up Your Push-Ups

October 1, 2011 | Featured in the Fall, 2011 Issue

Must See Strength Training Videos

Push-Ups are a classic strength-building exercise. Below are three variations that can make them even more effective.

1. Push-Up Ladder

This is not only a chest and triceps killer, it also makes your shoulders and core stronger. It can be used as a bodyweight exercise for younger athletes or loaded with a 100-pound weight vest for an NFL linebacker.

How To Perform:

  • Start on right side of ladder with left hand inside first rung and right hand outside ladder
  • Perform Push-Up
  • Place right hand in same rung as left hand, and move left hand to next rung
  • Perform Push-Up
  • Continue pattern to end of ladder
  • Rest, then perform pattern leading with opposite hand

Sets/Reps: 2-4 x Ladder cycle

2. Slideboard Push-Up

This is an advanced exercise. It develops chest strength while activating back muscles, specifically the lats. It also requires tremendous core strength to stabilize the body in a plank position.

How To Perform:

  • Assume Push-Up position with right hand on slideboard or with towel on lowfriction surface
  • Descend into bottom Push-Up position while extending right hand forward on slideboard
  • Push up with left hand and pull with right hand to return to starting position
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set on opposite side

Sets/Reps: 2x10-12 each side

3. Chain Push-Up

This variation strengthens your muscles by forcing them to push against the resistance of the chains. To make it more challenging, perform the Push-Ups using 20-pound dumbbells as grips to force the body to maintain balance and stability.

How To Perform:

  • Assume kneeling position; spotter loads chains on back in criss-cross pattern
  • Perform Push-Ups until fatigued; yell "pull" for spotter to remove one chain
  • Continue performing Push-Ups until fatigued; yell "pull" for spotter to remove next chain
  • Repeat pattern until all chains are removed

Sets/Reps: 3x4-6 chains

Related Exercises

Topics: PUSH-UP
Jason Spray
- A strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level since 2002, Jason Spray is a head strength coach at Middle Tennessee State University, where he...
Jason Spray
- A strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level since 2002, Jason Spray is a head strength coach at Middle Tennessee State University, where he...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,267,361
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 197,717
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 397,574
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,217
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,450,145
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,255
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,916
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,152,827

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

Building Brakes for More Speed

Building Brakes for More Speed

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Heavy Rope Workout for Big Gains

Heavy Rope Workout for Big Gains

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Perfect Planks: How to Make this Classic Exercise More Effective

Perfect Planks: How to Make this Classic Exercise More Effective

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Strength Isn’t Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Strength Isn't Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

YardBarker