Mastered the Push-Up? Here Are 6 Exercises That Take Your Strength to the Next Level

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Photo: Stocksy / Jovo Jovanovic
You know when you're growing out your hair and you reach that awkward period between your short style and the longer style you're oh-so-patiently waiting for? Well, push-ups kind of work the same way. Once you've trained doing incline push-ups enough that you've moved on to master a regular push-up, there's a period where you're strong... but not quite strong enough to take on harder variations like the Russian push-up or the pike push-up. Like your hair, you still need some growing time before you reach your goal. And that's exactly what these push-up strengthening exercises will help you do.

Experts In This Article

Trainer Kayla Itsines recently shared some exercises on Instagram that help strengthen the key muscles you use when you're doing push-ups. "By doing these exercises, not only will you improve your strength, but it will also improve your push-up form," she writes. If you incorporate them into your weekly upper body sessions, you'll strengthen your push-ups to a level that will allow you to bust out any variation like a champ.

Here are six push-up strengthening exercises Itsines recommends for taking your muscle power to the next level.


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6 push-up strengthening exercises to try

1. Plank and reach

  1. Start in a forearm plank.
  2. Reach your right arm straight out in front of you, then return it to your mat.
  3. Repeat on the opposite side, alternating back and forth between arms.

2. Plank rocks

  1. Start in a forearm plank.
  2. Slowly rock your body forward.
  3. Rock your body back to your starting position.

3. Plank rotation

  1. Start in a forearm plank.
  2. Rotate to a side plank on your right side.
  3. Return to center then rotate to a side plank on your left side.
  4. Continue alternating between sides in one seamless motion.

4. Push-up hold

  1. Start in a push-up position on your knees.
  2. Lower into a push-up, allowing your body to hover slightly above the mat.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat.

5. Negative push-up

  1. Start in a push-up position on your knees.
  2. Slowly lower your body into a push-up.
  3. Raise back up to your starting position.

6. Toes down

  1. Start in a high plank.
  2. Lower your body into a push-up.
  3. Once your face is inches above the floor, gently drop your knees to the mat.
  4. Raise your upper body until your arms are straight.
  5. Straighten your legs so you’re back in a high plank position.

Need to work on your push-up form? This video will help:

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