How to push up the push-up intensity

Q & A



I've been doing push-ups for years. Is there any way to kick them up a notch so I don't have to do so many to feel the burn? Short of having someone sit on your back during push-ups, there are a handful of modifications.

One way to amp up your routine is to use only one arm. However, this also puts more stress on the joints - so stop if you experience elbow, wrist, knee or ankle pain.

Another challenging option is the rotated push-up. As you're straightening your arms in the standard push-up, rotate your right side down so that you're balancing on the outer edge of your right foot and the inner edge of your left foot. Raise your left hand and look skyward. Do not let your right hip drop. Hold this position a few seconds, keeping your abdominal muscles tight to stabilize you. Return to your starting position, then do another push-up (or another set) before repeating on the opposite side.

Doing push-ups after a cardiovascular or weight workout is another way to intensify the routine.

I like doing inner thigh exercises, but can you recommend one for the outer thighs that I can do at home without machines? Here's one of our favorites: Sit sideways on a step on your right side with your right thigh resting near the stair's edge, knee bent. Rest hands on the step above and extend your left leg toward the floor, foot flexed.

Raise your left leg as high as possible without hurting yourself. Lower and repeat. Try three sets of 20-25 on each side to start.

Do you have a fitness question? You can submit questions via e-mail to, or online at, or in writing to The Sun, Fitness Q&A, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

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