Making it harder- elevating the feet

Once you get used to the push up, you can also begin to increase the difficulty by elevating the feet above the floor.

Use phone books, boxes, chairs, tables, counter tops, even walls to to raise the feet higher than your hands. This will change the amount of weight you are pushing, and the angle that the muscles are working in as well.

Next, add the handles for even harder elevated push ups.


Making it harder- increasing the range of motion

Once you get pretty good at doing them on the floor, try increasing the range of motion.

Using phone books, wood blocks, chairs, or push up handles, increase the range of motion and stretch in the pecs with each rep.

You will be able to tell the difference, quick.

With the handles, you can vary your hand position even more due to your taste and capabilities.

What if I can’t do a full push up yet?

No problem. Assume the same position as the regular, or full push up. Now place the knees on the ground.

Keep the body tight, and perform the push up, only your knees will be the fulcrum point, not your feet.

Use this push up with any hand placement. You can also use this when you find you can no longer do another regular push ups during your sets.

Push ups- changing hand positions

Changing you hand placement will change the difficulty, and where you feel it in the muscles.
1- shoulder width ( regular)
2- little closer than shoulder width (regular)
3- close hands (they form a diamond shape, so these are sometimes called diamond pushups)
4- wider than shouder width (wide arm push ups)
The pushup hits the triceps, shoulders, chest, and lats (supporting muscles).

Push ups- how to do one

Everyone is familiar I believe with the push up, but here goes:
1- place hands shoulder width apart on the ground
2- kick your feet back, keeping your feet either together or slightly apart
3- keep the hips up, and the body in a straight line from head to feet and tight (plank)
4- bend elbows until chest is just above the ground
5- push the ground away to the up position. Keep body straight.


Body weight exercises

There are lots of body weight exercises out there for those who don’t have access to a gym or weights. What I will cover this afternoon are several different variations of the good ‘ol push up.

We will cover different hand positions, ranges of motion, speeds, and how to make the different variations more difficult for increased strength.

Pictures to follow shortly.

Take care and good lifting

Putting it all together

Here is a simple circuit I use as a warm up before hitting the weights. This ensures I have my forearm work done when my energy is high and not just an after thought.

3 rounds thru each hand

Wrist curls 20 reps
Reverse wrist curls 10 reps
Sledgehammer curl front 5 reps
Sledgehammer curl rear 5 reps
Hammer rotations 5 reps
Gripper 1×10 sec. hold
Pinches 5 reps
Levers 1 rep with heaviest hammer.

Sledgehammer levering


Finally, sledgehammer levering to the forehead with the arm outstretched is a tremendous wrist and grip builder.

Simply grasp the handle at the base (1), steady the hammer with your arm straight; slowly, and carefully allow it to come towards your forehead(2). (for safety, use your other hand to block your face if you feel you may lose control). Once there (3) reverse the motion (4).

Do singles.

Pinch grip


Using some of the cheaper grippers from any sports Store, build your thumb strength by using the thumb and fingers to pinch it closed.

Go for timed closes, or sets of 3-5 reps.



To develop that crushing grip, very few things can compare to Captains of Crush grippers from Irommind.

Merely set the gripper in the hand to where your fingers wrap around securely. Squeeze the heck out of the gripper until the handles touch.

Go for singles increasing the strength of the gripper each set if you have several handy. If not, hold the gripper shut for time or do 2-5 reps ea. set