Push-ups are one of the greatest upper-body exercises.

When done correctly, they are a fantastic way to strengthen and tone your arms, chest and anterior shoulders as well as improve the stability of your core.

They also are a great way to improve shoulder health, function and posture by strengthening the supporting muscles of your shoulder complex like your rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers. 

This is why we put such a large emphasis on mastering the body-weight push-up. 

It allows our members to gain some serious strength, protect their shoulders and allow themselves to build a great foundation of strength and stability to build upon. 

You see, mastering the push-up does not only make you better at the push-ups itself.  

Push-ups incorporate and challenge just about every muscle and joint of your upper-body. This transfers to you having more success with other exercises like ab exercises, dumbbell and barbell presses, chin-ups and rows. 

Master your technique, HERE!

The question becomes, once you’ve perfected your push-up form and have gotten pretty strong with them, where do you go from there?

Your body is an unbelievable machine when it comes to adapting. 

Yes, you will initially see some great results, strength and tone by getting better at push-ups.

The issue is, once you reach a certain level of strength with the movement, your standard push-up will turn into a maintenance exercise and your results will begin to plateau. 

This is why it is crucial for continual progress to push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time and switch up both the intensity and variation of the exercises you are doing. 

Let's get into our 5 advanced push-ups you need to try!

#1 1-Arm Slide Push-Up 

The 1-arm slide push-up is one of the most advanced push-up variations you can do. You need a great amount of strength as you are practically doing a push-up on one arm. These are also one of the toughest ab exercises you will do. If you do not have access to a slideboard pictured above, simply use a towel on a slick surface or a furniture mover on carpet. 

Key Points:

  • Start in push-up position with hands under shoulders
  • Have slideboard bootie, towel or furnature mover under one hand
  • Keep stomach braced and glutes squeezed
  • Lower into push-up, sliding the opposite hand and arm straight overhead
  • Go as low as possible without sagging hips or arching back
  • Return to starting position
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 4-8 reps/side 

#2 Band Resisted Push-Up

The band resisted push-up is a great way to alter whats known as the strength curve. During your typical push-up, the most challenging position is the bottom. As you get closer to the top of your push-up the movement gets easier. This is not the case when you add band resistance. As you lower into the push-up the movement becomes easier as the band's tension lessens. As you push-up, the band forces you to work harder and harder through the movement as the band's tension now increases. You can make these easier or more difficult by varying the width of the band. 

Key Points:

  • Wrap the band around your back and around palms of hands
  • Set-up in push-up position with stomach braced and glutes squeezed
  • Lower into push-up and return to starting position
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps

#3 Push-Up 1.5

When it comes to building muscle, tension is the name of the game. Here, tension refers to both the intensity (resistance) and duration your muscles are forced to work against during an exercise. So, when you increase both weight and reps you force your muscles to strengthen and tone. The perfect exercise to do that is the push-up 1.5. Prepare for some soreness!

Key Points:

  • Start in push-up position with hands under shoulders
  • Lower into bottom position of push-up
  • Come up only half way and lower back into bottom position
  • Finish back up top in starting position and repeat
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps

#4 TRX or Ring Push-Up 

The TRX or Ring push-up is a great way to challenge the strength of your upper body and core as well as your ability to stabilize. The unstableness of the straps challenge your shoulders, especially your rotator cuff to stabilize your shoulder joint. The straps also make it tough to stabilize your spine and hips, making this a killer ab exercise! 

Key Points:

  • Start in top of push-up position with hands on straps
  • Keep all of your weight into the handles
  • Lower yourself into bottom position
  • Stop when arms are in line with body
  • Make these easier by walking your body more upright
  • Make these harder by having your body more parallel to floor
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps

#5 Renegade Row 

The renegade row is the perfect catch-all upper body exercise. The push-up challenges your abs, shoulders, arms and chest while the row works to strengthen and tone your upper back. 

Key Points:

  • Start in top of push-up position with hands on dumbbells
  • Keep feet wide, stomach braced and glutes squeezed
  • Lower into push-up and return to starting position
  • Row left dumbbell up towards rib cage, bringing shoulder blade toward spine
  • Lower dumbbell and row on the right side
  • Repeat
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps