The barbell bench press may be the go-to exercise for big chest muscles, but what happens when you can’t get to a gym?
Or even worse, what do you do when your gym doesn’t have a proper bench?
Here’s what you do: You put your trust in one of the foundational exercises of modern fitness: the push-up.
The latest fit tech advancements might be flashy and offer a fancy way to work your chest, but there’s a reason that the push-up is still around: it works really damn well.
Shown to target your chest, front deltoids, and core, the push-up is an excellent upper-body exercise that can increase chest size, strength, and endurance.
Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or you’re a fitness junkie looking for new ways to get a bigger chest, push-up variations are the answer.
Let’s review the best push-up variations to help you break past a muscle-building plateau and get a bigger chest.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
The first and greatest victory is to conquer self.
Table of Contents
There are two types of pains, one that hurts you and the other that changes you.
HOW TO DO A REGULAR PUSH-UP?
Doing push-ups correctly is a key part of achieving your fitness goals and building a bigger and stronger chest.
Here are the steps for how to do a regular push-up plus some tips and safety measures to keep in mind.
The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.
EXECUTION OF THE EXERCISE:
Use proper push-up equipment such as mats or elevated platforms to ensure correct form and a more comfortable experience while executing push-ups.
Also, be sure to listen to your body during push-up repetitions; if at any point you feel fatigued or lightheaded, take a break before continuing on with more repetitions!
HOW TO DO A REGULAR PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing a Regular Push-Up with a proper form:
Start in a straight arm plank position with feet hip-width apart and toes tucked under.
Engage your core to keep your body in one long line from head to toe.
Lower your body down until your chest is just above the floor, keeping your elbows close to the side of your body as you lower yourself down.
Don’t let them flare outwards!
As you push back up into the starting plank position, make sure that your head is aligned with your spine and shoulders are pulled away from the ears.
Be sure not to arch or round the back while pushing up!
Finally, exhale as you push yourself up and inhale as you lower yourself back down – this will help maintain correct breathing form throughout the exercise and promote increased oxygen intake for better performance.
You don’t find willpower; you create it.
When it comes to push-ups, safety should always be your top priority.
Even if you are an experienced lifter, form, and posture are essential in preventing injury.
Before you begin any push-up routine, we suggest taking the time to properly warm up your body and get your muscles loose.
This will help you develop better techniques and maximize your results.
For our older lifters with hip pain, we highly recommend wearing a back brace for added support and relief from past surgeries or injuries.
With these few tips, you can push yourself in the gym while ensuring your safety.
To be a champion, you must act like a champion.
What follows are some of the best push-up variations you can do to increase the total number of push-ups that you can do, get bigger chest gains, and improve strength and endurance.
To start out, we suggest mastering each of the beginner push-up variations before progressing to intermediate variations.
If you are already experienced with push-ups, begin at the intermediate level.
It’s important to focus on form rather than quantity when first starting a new exercise.
Don’t rush through them and push yourself beyond your current capabilities; leave your ego at the door and slowly build up your strength.
You will eventually get the numbers you want, but it takes time and practice.
Don’t ask for a light load, but rather ask for a strong back.
BEGINNER PUSH-UP VARIATIONS
The basic push-up is a great exercise for strengthening the upper body, but if you’re just starting out with working out or are looking for a new challenge, then these beginner-friendly push-up variations can help you take your workout to the next level.
Each variation builds on the standard push-up and can help you progress in your fitness journey.
So, let’s get started!
HOW TO DO AN ECCENTRIC PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Eccentric Push-Up with a proper form:
To do this push-up correctly, start by getting into a push-up position and then slowly lower yourself toward the ground until your chest touches the floor.
Then push yourself back up again with control.
To make sure your push-up form is correct, keep your back straight and your elbows close to the side of your body while your push-up.
Make sure that you’re using your chest muscles to do the push-ups instead of your arms and shoulders.
This will ensure that you are targeting the right muscles and getting the most out of your push-up.
This push-up is great because not only does it target your chest muscles, but it also helps to engage your core and triceps.
Discipline is the bridge between your bodybuilding goals and bodybuilding success.
HOW TO DO A ONE-LEG PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the One-Leg Push-Up with a proper form:
To properly execute a one-leg push-up, start by placing your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, feet together and your abs engaged.
Lift one foot off the ground, and push up into a plank position while keeping the core tight.
Lower yourself slowly toward the floor until your chest almost touches it and push back to starting position.
Make sure to keep your whole body in a straight line and your hips and shoulders parallel to the ground.
Do 8-10 repetitions per side for two sets, taking short breaks between them.
It never gets easier. You just get stronger.
HOW TO DO A CLOSE-GRIP PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Close-Grip Push-Up with a proper form:
Start by positioning your hands about shoulder width apart on the floor and keeping your elbows close to your sides as you lower yourself.
Then push up until your arms are fully extended and squeeze the chest muscles at the top of the push-up.
Make sure to keep your core tight throughout the movement and avoid sagging or arching your back.
Also, avoid locking out your elbows when pushing back up to prevent injury.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.
HOW TO DO A WIDE-GRIP PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Wide-Grip Push-Up with a proper form:
To begin, start in a push-up position with your arms straight and hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe.
Your feet should be hip-width apart and your toes tucked into the floor.
Engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine.
Lower yourself down until your chest is just above the floor, but make sure that your elbows stay close to your body.
Keep your head and neck in neutral alignment, looking slightly ahead or straight down at the ground.
Drive through the palms of your hands as you push back up to starting position.
Make sure to keep your body tight and contract your chest at the top.
Repeat for the recommended reps and sets, making sure to keep proper form throughout.
Gold medals are made out of sweat, blood, and tears, and effort in the gym every day.
BEGINNER-LEVEL PUSH-UP WORKOUT
Use this beginner-friendly push-up workout for your next chest day.
- Eccentric Push-Up: 2 sets of 5 to 15 repetitions
- Incline Push-Up: 2 x 10 – 15
- One-Leg Push-Up: 2 x 5 – 10
- Close-Grip Push-Up: 1 x 10 – 15
- Wide-Grip Push-Up: 1 x 10 – 15
Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.
INTERMEDIATE PUSH-UP VARIATIONS
Intermediate-level push-up variations can provide more than just an increase in muscle mass.
These exercises may also help to increase your bench press ability.
Give these variations a try to see what you can accomplish!
If you want to level up your push-up game, then you’ll definitely want to add these variations into your routine.
Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet, and mental approach.
HOW TO DO A DECLINE PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Decline Push-Up with a proper form:
Start by positioning yourself at the top of the decline bench, with your feet resting on the higher end and your hands firmly placed on the ground beneath you.
Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet.
Bend your elbows and slowly lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the ground, pause for a moment and then push yourself back up to starting position.
It’s important to keep your core tight and engaged throughout this exercise as well as focus on keeping proper form by not letting your hips sag or rise.
Complete the exercise by repeating this motion for the desired number of repetitions and sets.
The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as a wolf climbing the hill.
HOW TO DO A STAGGERED HANDS PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Staggered Hands Push-Up with a proper form:
To perform the Staggered Hands Push-Up, begin by getting into a standard push-up position, with your feet together and arms at shoulder width apart.
Then, move one hand slightly forward while keeping the other hand in place.
Lower your body down until your chest nearly touches the ground, then press back up to complete one repetition.
Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the entire exercise.
For an added challenge, you can also add a clap or two in between repetitions.
This will help to increase upper body strength and muscular power.
Be sure to keep proper form throughout the entire exercise for maximum results and decreased risk of injury.
Additionally, make sure to use the same number of repetitions with each hand if you choose to do so.
I always say to myself right before a tough set in the gym, Ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it.
HOW TO DO A SPIDERMAN PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Spiderman Push-Up with a proper form:
To perform the Spiderman Push-Up correctly, start by getting into a high plank position with hands directly underneath your shoulders.
From there, lower yourself down to the ground while bringing one knee towards the same side elbow, keeping your core tight and back straight.
Push up explosively through your arms and switch legs so that the opposite leg moves toward its elbow.
Repeat this movement ensuring that you are keeping your hips level throughout the exercise.
This push-up should be done at a controlled pace and with proper form to ensure the best results.
For an extra challenge, you can add in a jump when pushing up and even incorporate weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells.
Doing this exercise regularly will help build strength, improve coordination, and increase shoulder mobility.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
HOW TO DO A SIDE-TO-SIDE PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Side-to-Side Push-Up with a proper form:
To begin the exercise, start in a high plank position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes tucked into the ground.
Tightly engage your core muscles while keeping your back and hips in a straight line.
Next, lower your body until your chest almost touches the ground, and then immediately push yourself back up to the plank position.
From here, move one hand off the floor and reach out to the side as far as you can.
Lower your body back down to the ground and then use your other arm to repeat the same motion, pushing off to the side as far as you can.
Maintain a strong core throughout the exercise and be sure not to let your hips sink or rise during each rep.
Continue alternating arms while keeping good form until all reps are complete.
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
HOW TO DO A TIGER PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Tiger Push-Up with a proper form:
To begin, get into a high plank position on your hands and toes with your core engaged and your back flat.
Lower yourself down, bringing one hand and the opposite knee towards each other, so that you look like a tiger about to pounce.
Make sure that your elbow stays tucked in close to your torso.
Push back up to the high plank position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
Keep your core engaged throughout the entire exercise to maintain good form and stability.
Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions per side.
As you become more advanced, use a weight vest or ankle weights to increase the difficulty of the exercise.
With practice, you will be able to master this challenging exercise and add it to your regular routine!
Your love for what you do and willingness to push yourself where others aren’t prepared to go is what will make you great.
INTERMEDIATE-LEVEL PUSH-UP WORKOUT
If you’re confident in your abilities to complete all the exercises featured in the intermediate-level push-up routine, then don’t hesitate to utilize it for your next chest day.
If there are one or two of the exercises which you’re still working on perfecting, there’s no need to worry.
Feel free to substitute those with one or two of the beginner-level exercises to better suit your needs and abilities.
- Decline Push-Up: 3 x 10 – 12
- Staggered Hands Push-Up: 2 x 8 – 12
- Spiderman Push-Up: 3 x 5 – 10
- Side-to-Side Push-Ups: 3 x 5 – 10
- Tiger Push-Ups: 2 x 5
Some are born strong, and others are made strong.
ADVANCED PUSH-UP VARIATIONS
The following advanced push-up variations are not to be taken lightly and require a high degree of physical fitness, strength, and endurance to perform them safely.
They should not be attempted unless you have already built up a solid foundation of fitness, and are able to perform beginner-level and intermediate-level push-ups with proper form.
Attempting these variations without first mastering the basics can result in injury, so take your time and progress slowly.
With dedication and time, you’ll be able to master these advanced push-up variations!
The clock is ticking. Are you becoming the person you want to be?
HOW TO DO A PLYOMETRIC PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Plyometric Push-Up with a proper form:
To do the Plyometric Push-Up, start in the standard push-up position with your feet together and your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
Then, bend your arms to lower yourself down until the chest nearly touches the ground.
At this point, you should be exerting maximum force.
Then, explosively press up off the ground and clap your hands together before landing back in the starting position.
Be sure to keep your core tight and maintain good form throughout the entire exercise.
The Plyometric Push-Up should be done for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps with a brief pause between each rep.
It’s important to rest for 45 seconds to 1 minute after each set.
This high-intensity exercise should not be done more than two times a week to allow for adequate recovery and to reduce the risk of injury.
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
HOW TO DO A ONE-ARMED PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the One-Armed Push-Up with a proper form:
The proper form for a one-armed push-up includes having your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing outwards, with one arm placed directly beneath the chest.
Keep the core tight throughout the exercise and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels.
As you begin to lower yourself, make sure that your elbow tracks directly below your shoulder.
Lower yourself until your chest is almost touching the ground, and then press up using your one arm to return to the starting position.
Keep your back and neck straight throughout the exercise.
It is important to practice the one-armed push-up properly before attempting it with additional weight or higher reps.
Work on perfecting the form and building up strength before increasing the difficulty of the exercise.
Start by doing the one-armed push-up against a wall or with your feet elevated on a box before trying it on the ground.
You can also practice with incline push-ups and planks to help build up the necessary strength for this exercise.
You don’t find willpower; you create it.
HOW TO DO A FEET-ON-THE-WALL PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Feet-on-the-Wall Push-Up with a proper form:
To perform the Feet-on-the Wall Push-Up correctly, begin in a plank position with your feet on the wall.
Keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your elbows slightly bent.
Make sure your body is in a straight line, with your head up and core engaged.
From here, lower your chest toward the ground until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle.
Then push back up to the starting position, keeping your core tight throughout.
Be sure to keep your feet firmly on the wall and your back straight throughout the entire exercise.
To make this exercise even more challenging, add a clap as you push up from the bottom.
Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.
HOW TO DO AN ALTERNATING MEDICINE BALL PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Alternating Medicine Ball Push-Up with a proper form:
To begin the alternating medicine ball push-up, start in a standard plank position with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
Place your hands on the medicine ball with one hand on each side, placed just outside of shoulder width.
Bend your elbows and lower your chest, keeping your core tight and your back straight.
As you push yourself back up to the starting position, switch the hands that are on the medicine ball, so the opposite hands are now placed on either side of the ball.
Repeat this motion for desired repetitions.
Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and keep your back straight.
To increase the difficulty, you can add a jump as you switch hands, which adds an explosive, plyometric component to the exercise.
The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.
HOW TO DO A HALF PLANCHE PUSH-UP
Here are the steps for performing the Half Planche Push-Up with a proper form:
The Half Planche Push-Up is performed by starting in a traditional push-up position.
From there, the body is shifted forward until the upper arms are vertical and parallel to the floor.
The legs and feet should be kept off the ground, and only the lower half of the body (from the chest down) should remain in contact with the ground.
The chest should be kept low with the back arched, and the head should be in line with the spine.
To initiate the movement, the arms should be slowly lowered until they are at 90 degrees.
The core and glutes should remain engaged throughout to maintain proper form.
At the bottom of the movement, the arms should be fully extended and the body returned to its original position.
The elbows should remain tucked in throughout to prevent any strain from occurring.
Once one repetition is completed, the exercise can be repeated.
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ADVANCED-LEVEL PUSH-UP WORKOUT
If you have been able to make it through the beginning and intermediate levels of push-ups, then you are now ready to take on the next level.
When performing the advanced-level push-ups, don’t be afraid of mixing in a few beginner or intermediate-level push-ups if you can’t complete the full advanced workout.
With time, patience and practice, you will be able to complete these difficult push-ups with ease.
- Plyometric Push-Up: 3 x 5 – 10
- One-Armed Push-Up: 3 x 1 – 7
- Feet-on-the-Wall Push-Up: 2 x 5 – 10
- Alternating Medicine Ball Push-Up: 2 x 6 – 12
- Half Planche Push-Up: 3 x 1 – 10
Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it.
1. What is the hardest form of pushup?
The hardest form of push-up is the one-arm clapping push-up.
This type of push-up requires immense strength and balance from the individual, as well as core stability.
It involves an individual putting their hands on the ground side by side, with their feet together.
However, instead of pushing up with both arms, the individual needs to push up with one arm while clapping the other.
This type of push-up is not recommended for beginners, as it can be quite challenging and even dangerous if done incorrectly.
In order to properly complete a one-arm clapping push-up, proper form and technique must be used in order to avoid any injuries or strains on the body.
It is best to practice this form of push-up under the guidance of a certified fitness trainer or coach.
Once mastered, it can be an incredibly powerful exercise that will help to increase strength and muscle tone in the upper body.
2. Should I do push-up variations?
Push-up variations are a great way to add variety to your workouts and get the most out of your exercise routine.
They can help you build strength, improve balance, and increase overall fitness.
Doing push-up variations is also an effective way to target different muscle groups and work different body parts more efficiently.
When doing push-up variations, make sure to take proper form and use the correct technique.
Start with basic push-ups first and gradually increase the difficulty level as your strength and endurance improve.
Once you feel confident in performing basic push-ups, you can begin to incorporate push-up variations into your routine.
Ultimately, whether or not you should do push-up variations is up to you.
If you’re looking for a way to challenge yourself, increase your strength and fitness level, and target different muscle groups, then incorporating push-up variations into your routine can be extremely beneficial.
However, if you feel comfortable with basic push-ups or are just starting out with exercise, then it’s probably best to stick with the basics for a while first.
No matter what, always remember to listen to your body and be mindful of your form. Stay consistent with your workouts and you’ll be sure to see results!
3. Which pushup is best for the whole body?
The Spiderman pushup is considered one of the best variations for a full-body workout since it involves multiple muscle groups and requires more complex movement patterns than regular pushups.
This exercise starts with a regular pushup, then as you lower yourself, bring one knee to the side of your elbow.
Push back up and repeat with the other leg.
This variation activates your core muscles more than a standard pushup while also targeting your chest, shoulders, triceps, and back.
The Plyometric Pushup is another great full-body exercise.
It combines explosive movements with regular pushups to increase muscular power and strength while engaging your entire body in the process.
To perform this exercise, start in a plank position and lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor.
Then explosively push up as high as you can, clapping your hands together at the top of the movement.
This exercise targets the same muscles as regular pushups, but with a more intensive effort.
The Standard pushup is the most popular variation and can be done anywhere without any additional equipment or setup.
It targets the chest, triceps, shoulders, back muscles, and core.
To perform this exercise correctly, start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor below your shoulders.
Keep your abs tight and core engaged.
Lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor, then push back up by extending your arms to their fullest range of motion.
Overall, each variation of the pushup offers tremendous benefits and can help to strengthen your body.
Depending on your fitness goals and personal preferences, choose one or all three types of pushups to build strength, power, and endurance throughout the body.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.
Push-ups are a great way to work out your entire upper body, with many variations available for both beginner and advanced levels.
From the classic standard push-up to more challenging versions like one-arm push-ups or spiderman push-ups, there is an array of exercises that can help you develop power and strength in your arms, chest muscles, back muscles, and even abs.
Whether you’re looking for martial arts-inspired moves such as archer push up or diamond push up or want something simpler such as knee push-ups or wide push-ups – all these different types of pushes will give you the results you seek.
Incorporating different variations of the exercise, such as pike push up, superman push up, and regular old-fashioned push-ups can help you get even better results.
Remember to keep proper form when you perform push-ups in order to maximize effectiveness and minimize injury risk.
With consistent practice over time, you will be able to see significant improvements in your ability to perform all three types of push-ups with ease!
Also, the one-arm push-up is a great exercise to target and strengthen your upper chest muscles.
With the right technique, you can perform it with ease and reap all of its benefits.
From pike push-ups to superman push-ups, there are many variations that will challenge your entire body as well as make sure both arms get an equal amount of work.
So try out a few reps today – we promise they’ll be worth it!
And don’t forget about the Arnold press for additional core strength training – this move works wonders when added to any workout routine!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PUSH-UP VARIATION?
Got an intense full-body workout with our advanced push-ups?
Show us what you can do by tagging us on Instagram! We can’t wait to see your progress!
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If you are interested, you can check out our step-by-step guide on how to perform the Bulgarian Split Squat, Hack Squat, or just our Arnold Press Vs. Shoulder Press Expert Comparison, and the best Long Head Bicep Exercises, and Short Head Biceps Exercises!