10 Push-Up Variations to Challenge Your Routine

Your biceps and triceps are about to gain their own fan club.

November 16, 2015
push-up varieties
Rodale Wellness

The world "push-up" doesn't usually excite most. The basic exercise, which when done correctly (find out how to Perfect the Pushup in 4 Moves) targets the chest, shoulders, and core including the triceps, biceps, and pectorals. While many of us may still be perfecting our technique (even if it's done in a modification, from the knees) — there's no time like the present for a challenge. 

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That's where these 10 push-up modifications come in. Once you get down the basics, try them 3 sets, 10 reps each. Note: All of these can be modified and you'll still reap the same muscle-toning benefits, starting from the knees instead of up in a plank position.

Classic Push-up

Classic Pushup

How to do it: Start in a plank position with a neutral spine. Pull the shoulder blades down toward your heels, keep elbows directly over the wrists. Lower down, keeping elbows tucked in toward the body, until chest meets your wrists (or touches the ground). Keeping core engaged, push back up to starting plank position. 


wall pushup

How to do it: Lean at a 45-degree angle facing the wall, hands up, a little more than should-width apart. Lower yourself until your chest meets your wrists, than push back up. Make sure to keep core engaged, and neck in a neutral position. 

More: How to Do a Squat


Narrow Pushup


How to do it: The classic push-up, but with your hands placed bwlow you less-than shoulder-width apart toward the midline of the body.


wide pushup

How to do it: The classic push-up, but with your hands starting at 10 and 2 (if your body is making a clock-shape). 

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Staggered Push-Up

staggered pushup

How to do it: Stagger the hands one in front of the other, continue as you would with a classic push-up. Mix up the hands, swapping front for back, between sets. 

Slow Negative

slow negative pushup

How to do it: A classic pushup, keeping elbows tucked in close to the body, done super slow. On the upward phase, remember to exhale and move quickly. Only the downward phase is done in a slow fashion. 



spiderman pushup

How to do it: As you lower in your pushup, lift your leg and pull the knee up toward the shoulder. Swap legs as you continue. 

More: Do a Bicep Curl the Right Way

Diamond Push-Up

diamond push-up

How to do it: Bring the hands into a diamond shape on the floor below you, lower down. This move is notorious for sculpting excellent triceps.

T Push-Up

How to do it: Complete a classic push-up, then raise your body up into a side plank. Hold for a couple seconds, then return back to your next push-up.

Single-leg Push-Up

single leg pushup

How to do it: Lift one leg several inches off the floor, and complete a classic push-up.