20+ Push Up Variations: The Ultimate Guide To Push Ups

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Did you know that you can do push ups in many different ways that work various muscles? This post will break down our favorite push up variations for you to try when working out!

Push Up Variations

Push ups have been and will always remain an awesome exercise.

Why?

They are a quick and effective exercise to start building muscle strength!

Push ups focus on core, triceps, pectoral muscle and shoulder muscle strength, they can be done from anywhere, and they are 100% FREE!

You can do them in a hotel room, your apartment bedroom or anywhere else at no cost at all!

All you need is small area and few minutes to incorporate push ups into your daily routine.

And yes, there are also many different forms of push ups which focus on different upper body muscles.

Below we will break down some of the best push up variations around for you!

20+ Push Up Variations

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I’ve always incorporated exercise into my daily routine, and have managed to keep reasonably fit my whole life.

Once I started my working life abroad, I didn’t have the time or the money to go to gym.

I was pretty much forced into improvizing with exercise and from then on, I only did bodyweight training.

And that’s how push ups became one of my main forms of upper body training.

To say the least, not being able to afford a gym membership was a blessing in disguise as it has saved me a ton of money and time.

It also allowed me to form various bodyweight exercises into my daily routine of which the push up definitely forms a big part!

Benefits of Doing Push Ups

Push ups work.

Most online blogs promote push ups, and if you google ‘push ups’ you will only find positive reviews on them.

Below are a few benefits of doing push ups as an exercise:

  • Sustainable upper body training. Doing a bench press or dumbbell press looks impressive but it has nowhere near the long term benefits of doing push ups. Consistency is key when doing exercise, and push ups give you that consistency and sustainability in building upper body strength.
  • They can be done from anywhere. Possibly the most beneficial attribute is that the push up can be done from any location.
  • Improved cardiovascular strength & weight loss. Push ups get the heart rate going and are therefore a good way to burn calories and lose weight.
  • They don’t cost anything. Push ups are 100% FREE and just require a small space, a floor and your own body! Oh, and only a few minutes each day.

Different Push Up Variations

Push ups often get overlooked because many men find it too simple and too boring to do.

Below we have added over 20 of the best ways to do push ups together with a video to show you how to perfect each different variation.


1. Incline Push Up

A good way to start off your push up career. Easier than the standard push up but more difficult than the decline push up.

Place your feet on the ground and perform the push up at an inclined level.

2. Standard Push Up

The standard push up works the chest and shoulder muscles.

Lying down on the floor with your face down and your feet close together. Place your hands shoulder width apart and maintain a straight body all while lowering your body straight down to the ground until your chest touches the floor. Then push yourself back up.

Thats 1 repetition.

Once you have mastered the standard push up, move onto more complicated variations as shown below.

3. Wide Grip Push Up

The wide grip push up works the chest muscles more. Place your hands wider than shoulder width and do a push up.

This variation of push up is more difficult than the standard push up.

4. Diamond Push Up

Diamonds push ups focus more on triceps.

Place your hands together underneath your chest and perform the push up. If you feel elbow pain then rather avoid this type of push up.

5. Clapping Push Up

The clapping push up is a good, explosive way to do a push up.

This will increase your explosive strength, hand speed, and looks great!

6. Decline Push Up

Put your feet on an elevated surface. You can use a bench or a chair to elevate your legs. Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart and perform the push up.

Decline push ups will target your shoulders muscles.

7. Hindu Push Up

The Hindu Push up consists of a full body movement that will build both strength and flexibility in your chest, shoulders, back, hips, and triceps.

The Hindu push can best be described as a making a swooping motion with your body.

It’s difficult to explain the Hindu push up in words and is better understood when watching the video below.

8. Dive Bomber Push Up

The dive bomber push up is the same as the Hindu push up, except on the return to the starting position, you have to make the same swooping motion you make on the descent, but in reverse.

Its a bit more challenging of an exercise than Hindu push ups.

9. Narrow Grip Push Up

Narrow grip push ups put a bit more strain on your elbows, but are a good variation of a push up.

The definition gives it away. Don’t put your hands too close together. Watch the above video first before diving into the narrow grip push up.

10. Rotational Push Up

The rotational push up is a core killer.

Assume the normal starting push up position. Lower yourself to the ground and do a push up. As you come up from the push up, rotate yourself to the right with your hand coming up. You should look like a Giant ‘T’. Return to the starting position and repeat the process for the left side.

11. Superman Push Up

This push up is almost the same as a clapping push up, except it’s definitely a bit more challenging!

You thrust yourself into the air on your way up from a push up, throwing your arms out in front of you.

12. Spiderman Push Up

Starting off in the normal push up position. As you lower your body down to the ground, touch your right elbow with your right knee. As you push back up, return your right leg to the starting position. Repeat this process with the left leg.

13. Grasshopper Push Up

Another great way to add a bit of complexity to the basic push up.

With grasshopper push ups, you basically step your right leg in the space between your left leg and left arm, then bring it back to normal again.

14. One Legged Push Up

The one legged push up is good for an additional core and glutes workout.

They are fairly simple to do. All you need to do is raise your one leg straight up and perform a normal push up.

15. Knuckle Push Up

Knuckle push ups are a good way to toughen up your knuckles, especially if you are a martial artist.

They also look pretty badass!

16. Side To Side Push Up

These are a good to do if you want focus on one side of the body.

They are always a good introduction into doing one arm push ups.

17. Medicine Ball Push Up

If you happen to own a medicine ball, then you need to try these push ups.

They will test and work your stability a lot, whilst working your triceps and biceps.

18. Single Arm Medicine Ball Push Up

Let’s take the previous push up one step further and do single arm medicine ball push ups!

You’ll often see professional athletes do these push ups, and they really do work!

19. Staggered Push Up

A staggered push up is almost the same as a normal one, except you will move one arm a bit more forward.

This helps increase strength on either side of your upper body.

20. Staggered Plyo Push Up

This one is pretty much the same as the previous staggered push up, but with an explosive twist.

Alternate your hand positions after every push up without any break.

21. One Arm Push Up

Last but not least is the one arm push up. The one we all wish we could do to impress our friends!

We have all seen people do it, but as soon as we try we realize it’s a lot harder than it seems!

The video above is a great video showing you how to slowly progress to a one arm push up.

This is definitely the most challenging of all of the push up variations shown above!

Final Thoughts

As you can see above there are many different push up variations which we can all do.

If you have been doing push ups for years then you can try one of the more complex push ups to increase strength and power.

If you are new to push ups, I suggest start slowly with incline push ups or standard push ups until you are more comfortable with the technique and have increased your strength!

And remember, always be pushing up!

Cheers,
Willie

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    2 COMMENTS

    1. Big believer in pushups as I have been doing them for years and experienced great results! The 20 plus is awesome and I will be implementing into my training. I do sets of 60 to 70 up to 400-500 most days at 72. Has worked for me and will break up my routing by adding new techniques with the push-up videos.
      Well done and thanks!

    2. Hi Robert, couldnt agree more! Glad you enjoyed and good work on doing 500 a day. Sure most people half you age cant even do 100 push ups! đŸ˜‰

      Cheers!

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