For many of us, the pushup was one of the first exercises we learned.

However, being one of the “backbone exercises” of fitness means the pushup has an almost infinite amount of variations. In this vlog from YouTube fitness gurus Brandon and Hudson White, the two bodybuilding brothers take on the pushup challenge as they try different variations of push-up with increasing intensity. It’s a reminder that even the most basic or rudimentary of exercises can have a twist that can improve your performance or make you work just a little bit harder than you did the last time. The key to increasing muscle size is to keep pushing yourself progressively harder every time, so these more difficult pushups are a great way to introduce some added difficulty into your routine.

Let’s break down the types of pushups Brandon and Hudson attempt:

  • Level One (Easy): Pushups, knee pushups, diamond pushups, hand-release pushups, mechanical pushups, praying mantis pushups, and pike pushups.
  • Level Two (Hard): Single-leg pushups, power pushups, in-and-out pushups, dive bomber pushups, Spiderman pushups, shoulder tap pushups, and tuck pushups.
  • Level Three (Expert): Up-and-down pushups, single-arm pushups, finger pushups, floorsweeper pushups, typewriter pushups, and Jackie Chan pushups.

Both brothers agreed at the end of the vlog that the single-arm pushups were one of the hardest exercises they attempted during the challenge. The level three exercises were all considered exceptionally difficult, though this one was particularly challenging, especially after the other types of pushup that had been attempted. They both also agreed that the beginner exercises or level one were fairly easy and that they constituted “a warm-up” before the more challenging exercises.

Both Brandon and Hudson began to really sweat during the hard level of the challenge and commented on the increase in difficulty after the set was complete.

“Hard mode’s out of the way and I’m a little happy that one’s over,” confessed Brandon White.

“I was feeling there were some parts there that were getting a little creaky, I think,” admitted Hudson White. “Once you start moving in different ways and at different angles you just start feeling different areas — especially when you start including that ballistic and kind of plio-sense, your wrists kind of start hurting, so, it definitely lives up to its name.”

There are many variations of pushup out there, although not all of them are for everyone. Many of them can be extremely demanding and should not be attempted by beginners, although they’re a great way to start modifying and increasing the difficulty of your regular pushups once you start to feel they’re no longer pushing you hard enough. Many of the expert level pushups — such as Jackie Chan pushups, which involve doing a modified backflip before doing the next pushup — are hard on your body in a number of ways and challenge not only strength but your overall flexibility and dexterity. This can be a great way to make your pushups go further in the gym if you’re looking to put pressure on muscle groups that aren’t typically used when you’re strength training. Whichever kind of pushup you’re looking for, there are literally tons of them in this video, so feel free to mix and match until you find a workout that’s right for you!

*All images and media courtesy of YouTube.