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Should I Do Pushups Until Failure to Increase My Reps?

author image Elisha Ryan
Elisha Ryan has been an NASM certified personal trainer since 1999 and a physical therapist since 2011. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science with a minor in journalism and a master's degree in physical therapy.
Should I Do Pushups Until Failure to Increase My Reps?
A woman does pushups with a trainer. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

The pushup is a tried-and-true exercise that targets your pecs, shoulders, arms and core. Correct form is crucial. If you want to increase the number of push-ups you can perform, you'll need to work until failure. But you can add many more techniques and variations to your pushups to blast these muscle groups and increase your strength and reps.

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Work to Failure and Beyond

ExRx says to vary your resistance training for maximum results. Alternate high reps and low weight with low reps and high weight. One way to do this is to perform your standard pushups first and then drop to your knees and squeeze out as many additional reps as you can. Keep your head, neck, spine and hips in a straight line and tighten your abdominal muscles to engage your core.

Pushup Variations

Another way to increase your strength and improve your ability to perform more reps of standard pushups is to perform more difficult versions. There are several ways to accomplish this. You can place your feet on a bench or stability ball to add a decline and more resistance to your pushups. You can also lift one leg off the floor, do a clap pushup. or bring your hands closer together to increase the difficulty of your pushups. A plyometric depth pushup is another variation that increases pushup difficulty. During a plyometric depth pushup, your hands and feet are on risers. You push up, lift your hands off the riser and move them inward. Then, push your hands off the riser again and move them outward. This is an advanced pushup that requires strength and coordination.

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