The push-up is a versatile body weight exercise that strengthens the upper body including chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. It’s a versatile muscle builder for all athletic levels. Small changes in hand and body position can produce big differences in the muscles you target.
- Perform push-ups on knees.
- Perform on toes when strong enough to maintain proper form.
- Perform incline push-ups.
- Elevate hands on a bench, chair, or plyo box.
- Push-ups on a wall (lean into wall and push away).
Vary hand position to provide additional challenge for different muscle groups.
- Diamond (hands narrow and form a diamond shape with thumbs and index fingers) – Triceps.
- Narrow (hands under shoulders) – Triceps.
- Mid (hands outside shoulders) – Chest.
- Wide (hands very wide) – Chest.
Increase upper body work and challenge core stabilizers even more.
- Decline push-up
- Place feet on a stability ball.
- Place feet in a suspension system.
- Place feet on a bench or plyo box.
- Place one hand on a medicine ball.
- Place two hands on a medicine ball.
- Wrap a strength band around your back for more resistance.
Considerations for all levels
- Keep the back long and straight (avoid hip lift or hip sag).
- Brace core to support the low back.
- Engage glutes and thighs for stabilization.
Add push-ups into your strength routine 2 to 3 times per week. Perform until you feel muscle fatigue. That’s when you’ll build muscle and feel the power of push-ups!