Yet More Pushups for Calisthenics Exercises

Although diamond pushups are likely to be among the toughest pushups that all but the most fanatical calisthenics fans pursue, there are plenty more variations to experiment with, use for various body-building goals, or to spice up a tired workout routine. Here is another list of very effective pushup variants to give you the workout you are looking for.

Pushups for Calisthenics Exercises

Sphinx pushups

Sphinx pushups are a variant where you raise yourself from a different starting pose than normal. Assume the normal pushup position, except that your entire palm and forearm should rest on the floor, supporting your weight, rather than just your palms. In carrying out the pushups, slowly raise yourself until your arms are straight at the elbow, then slowly lower yourself to the starting position.

Maintain a straight body throughout by tensing your back, abdominal, and buttocks muscles.

The main effort will fall on your triceps muscles, so be prepared for a very strong effect on your arms. The chest muscles will have more of a stabilizing effect, while the arms will carry the majority of the work.

Once the basic sphinx pushups become too easy to be a real challenge (a distant prospect if you are just starting), there are several extras to “amp up” the effect. One of these is to put the toe of one foot on the heel of the other, alternating between feet. This will boost the challenge noticeably. You can even pull one leg up to your chest, then extend it again, as you reach the highest point of the lift during each repetition.

T-rotation pushups

T-rotation pushups are best for the athletic, specifically for those who are not only strong but have good to excellent balance. The setup for this pushup is much like the standard pushup. Lower your body to the floor slowly, then, as you raise yourself, roll your body sideways and extend your free hand straight out to the side from your shoulder. You should roll onto the edge of the foot on the same side as the supporting arm.

Thus, your final pose should see your body and arms forming a capital T, with your legs together, forming a straight line with your spine and neck (the stem of the T). Your free side arm sticks straight out from your shoulder, slanting upwards at an angle, while your supporting arm is also straight with the palm resting against the floor.

Note that you need more free space for this exercise than for a standard pushup.

Lower yourself back down until you are in the standard pushup pose, lower your chest slowly to the floor, raise, and repeat.

This compound exercise affects both the bodily core and the chest muscles, making it ideal for overall torso development.

Wide pushups

Wide pushups are a simple pushup variant which involve placing your hands out an angle from your shoulders, approximately two shoulder-widths apart. (Measure your shoulders and the spots on the floor that would mark the center under your breastbone and the two spots where your palms rest.) Your arms will slant out at an angle, but your wrists should face forward, while your fingers should be be splayed.

Lower yourself slowly and smoothly, then raise yourself in the same way. The chest should not touch the floor at the lowest dip of this pushup – keep at least two inches of air space between your chest and the substrate.

This pushup provides maximum effort to the chest, and moderate effort to the rest of the upper body.

Aztec pushups

Aztec pushups, named for the fierce Central American warrior culture that worshiped Huitzilopotchli, the Left-Handed Hummingbird, are an explosive type of pushup that incorporate a launch into the air as the high point of each raise. These will help to build the explosive power of your muscles, though they should not be used in isolation, since other exercises will add more overall muscle mass.

Start in the ordinary pushup position.

Lower yourself slowly and smoothly to the floor.

Propel yourself upwards off the floor with your arms, and swing your arms down to touch your thighs before bringing them back to catch yourself as you land.

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