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4 Unconventional Push-up Exercises To Supercharge Your Fitness

4 Unconventional Push-up Exercises To Supercharge Your Fitness

  1. Are you interested in giving your fitness and strength program a serious upgrade with some unconventional bodyweight exercises? 
  2. Are you looking for some truly unique push-up exercises to help you build strength and lean muscle? 
  3. Do you have an interest in leveraging some unique push-up drills for time efficient workouts? 

Contrary to what many folks may think you can always take your fitness to new heights with bodyweight exercises…particularly when it comes to unconventional push-up exercises. So due to the fact that you’re always up for a challenge and I know you are then I know you will find these very useful. You can take the time to thank me later. In fact, you can thank me now if you simply share this article with your family and friends. Read and apply!

Unconventional Push-up Exercises

Man in a red hoodie performing push-ups while looking straight ahead at the camera.

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Ok I want you to understand something before I jump in with this. I am writing this assuming you are currently proficient in performing the standard push-up exercise. Obviously you can’t put the cart before the horse so you can’t progress with most of these push-ups until you’re able to perform the basic standard push-up exercise first.

I just wanted to take a moment to clarify that point as I can help you get there, but for today we’re talking about taking you beyond that ability level.

1. The Crossover Push-up (with kettlebell or medicine ball):

You can perform this push-up variation by utilizing either a kettlebell or medicine ball. Because to execute the movement you simply want to get into a standard upright push-up position placing one hand on the ground and the other hand on top of the kettlebell.

From here you want to perform a push-up with your hands in this staggered position. After you do this transition your grounded hand over to place it on top of the kettlebell and moving the other hand onto the ground. Continue to repeat this pattern until you have executed the designated number of reps.

Why perform this drill?

This is one of many unconventional push-up exercises you can employ to challenge your strength. The particular benefit of this one is that by elevating your hand on the kettlebell you significantly increase your push-up range of motion (ROM). This is important because it involves a bit of hand eye coordination and shoulder stability as well. If you’re going to be strong you don’t want to be clumsy and strong. Therefore at the end of the day you might as well be strong and athletic!

2. Walkout Push-up: 

This push-up is probably the easiest variation to include. It doesn’t require any additional equipment. However equipment can be added such as the use of a weighted vest. To perform this movement you want to start out standing with your feet at hip width distance apart.

Next, you want to be able to perform a bodyweight squat to lower yourself towards the ground. You want this because you want to place your hands on the ground once in the squat position. Now walk out with your hands to extend your body into an upright push-up position. After executing the push-up walk back with your hands to transition into the squat position to stand up and repeat the movement.

Why perform this push-up?

Without stating the obvious this walkout push-up is a bit more dynamic compared to the standard push-up drill. This is because you have to use your hands to walk your body into the push-up position forcing you to integrate more muscles due to the demand of more movement.

Man bending down with muscular arms to lift a pair of heavy dumbbells up off of the floor.

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Walking out onto your hands will force muscular activation from your hands, up your forearms, upper arms, shoulders, and throughout your trunk. This doesn’t even include the added effort coming from your legs as you perform the squat to get into position.

This added movement will introduce a different type of challenge to you. As a result the new challenge will activate a whole new host of muscles for some strength gains.

3. Hindu Push-up: 

Ok the best way I can describe this push-up movement is to imagine diving under a fence post. Did I say diving under a fence post? Yes, I did.

Execute this movement by getting into the upright push-up position. From here elevate your hips by raising your butt towards the sky. Keep your feet wider than hip width and when you elevate your hips pry into the stretch by pulling your heels towards the ground.

You will also notice a big stretch on your lats and shoulders. From here dive towards the ground leading with your head. As you perform this dive perform a swooping motion with your head and upper body as if you’re diving under an imaginary fence post.

Simply kick your hips (butt) back up towards the sky and repeat the process once you do this.

Why perform this movement?

This push-up variation is great for helping you to kill two birds with one stone! This is the case because you’re addressing both strength and the stretching of your muscles within the same movement. As a result this will keep you more supple while keeping you more injury resistant and pain free.

Man performing a suspension push-up with his hands locked in suspension straps and his feet elevated on a plyo-box.

Learn how to inject your unconventional push-up exercises into your strength program. Get started with my 120 Day Functional Fitness Program. Just click the image to get started!

4. Plyometric Push-up: 

To perform this push-up variation there are a few ways you can choose to pull them off. You can perform them off of the floor in a full push-up position, you can perform them on the floor springing up off of a medicine ball, or up off the side of a bench as seen here.

For the sake of this article I wanted to select performing the plyometric push-up off of a bench for you. This variation is also going to be a bit easier on your joints too due to the fact you can elevate your hands…so you’re welcome!  To perform this movement you want to start in the push-up ready position with your body straight and rigid and your hands secure to the bench.

From here you want to produce enough push-up force to elevate your body up off of the bench during the ascent of the movement. Now you should be aware at this point that you want to maintain strict rigidity throughout your body at your legs and torso. You want to allow the force of your effort to float your body away from the bench.

Hence upon returning to the bench you want to absorb the impact of your hands by lowering your body back to the bench to load yourself up for the following repetition.

So why perform this push-up variation?

This plyometric push-up is great for helping you to develop speed and force production. Likewise you’re producing much of the speed here with your arms it’s a great move for developing significant hand and arm speed. This is going to benefit you making you more athletic and athletic and powerful.

This push-up variation is especially beneficial if you practice martial arts, or are trying to improve your MMA fitness. As a result if you are proficient in the standard push-up you need to step up your gains. This more advanced exercise is a perfect option.

Unconventional Push-up Exercises: The Takeaway

As one of my old coaches used to say “Buckle your chinstrap son and get ready to work!” Whether you’re looking to take your fitness to the next level, or develop some added knockout power for your fight skills you’ll acquire both with these four unconventional push-up exercises.

Have you performed any of these unconventional push-up? 

What push-up variations are you doing now in your training program? 

Post up in the comments here below! 

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30 Introductory Bodyweight Exercises here below.

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Brandon performing dive bomber push-up for a unique core stabilizing exercises

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Correct Hand Position For Your Push-ups For Optimal Gains

What Push-up Protocol Are You Using To Test Yourself? 

 

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Brandon

I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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