The best way to get strong is by doing work, and the push up will effectively help you do just that. A simple exercise with your body weight as resistance that can be modified to target different muscle groups.
While Push Ups are typically thought of as an arm workout, the push up works out more than just your arms. In addition to getting stronger and having toner muscles, it also helps with your posture, making you look like a superhero!
In this article, we will discuss how push ups muscles worked and some standard variations of push ups which can be done anywhere without any equipment. Check out our Top 10 Push Up Bars and Push Up Boards that comes with lots of Benefits for the push up exercise. It also targets different muscle groups when working out without suffering from joint strain on your wrists and it offers a wide variety of push-up positions.
Another alternative is the Parallettes that are now extensively utilized by strong and advanced calisthenics athletes since they allow for a variety of dynamic bodyweight workouts such as pushups, dips, planches, swing-throughs, and handstand push-ups.
Push Ups Muscles Worked
- Chest (Pectorals)
- Shoulders (Deltoids)
- Triceps Brachii
- Abdominals and Core muscles
- Wings (Serratus anterior)
8 Push Ups Variations For Beginner, Intermediate and Advance
1. Standard Push Up
First, assume standard push up position. Maintain a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Place your hands on the ground about shoulder width apart and keep them there throughout the exercise.
Make sure that you look at what you’re doing and don’t let your hips sag down toward the ground as this will decrease effectiveness and possibly cause injury. Keep your abs tight and squeeze those glutes! Now lower yourself towards the floor in a slow controlled movement until your chest reach close to the floor before pushing back up again to complete one standard pushup. This is 1 repetition of standard pushups .
If standard push ups are too difficult for you, try putting your knees down on the floor. In time you’ll be able to do standard pushups.
2. Knee Push Up
Knee push ups are also good for people who cannot do normal push ups due to shoulder or elbow problems.
Although it may seem that knee push ups would put more stress on your joints, they actually demand less force from each joint than standard pushups because they allow you to take some of your weight off your limbs using the strength of your core.
Start in a push-up position, but put your knee instead of your toes on the ground. Your knee should be directly below your hip joint. Lift your feet slightly off the ground, keep your hands around shoulder width apart and fingers pointed forward. Slowly lower yourself down and repeat for reps.
3. Incline Push Up
This inclining version of the classic push up is performed with the hands placed on a platform, typically either an aerobics step or a low sturdy box. The spine may be curved in order to emphasize certain muscle groups, or held more upright.
Maintain a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Place your hands on the edge of the elevated platform wider than shoulder-width apart and lower yourself until your elbows bend to a 90-degree angle, and push back up to starting position.
4. Decline Push Up
The decline push up is a variation of the standard push up that targets your chest muscles slightly more than an incline push up. This exercise can be done by following these simple steps.
First, place your hands on the ground under your shoulders with your palms flat against the floor. Keep your legs extended behind you onto the elevated platform. Then, keeping everything in line, lower your body to the ground. Your chest should come within a few inches of touching the floor. If you can’t get that low, move your feet back so they are at arm’s length in front of you. Keep your elbows tucked tightly into your sides as you go down and push up. Your head should be looking forward during the decline push up.
To complete a decline push up, continue to lower yourself downward with your upper body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Once you have gone as low as you can go, press back up until you are all the way back at the top of the decline push up. Repeat as needed.
5. Spider Man Push Up
Whether you want to get away quickly or just want an exercise that’s slightly more difficult than a normal push up , spiderman push ups are for you.
To begin, make spider legs. With your first leg bent at the knee and on the ground, straighten the other one and “shoot” it to your right side.
Keep alternating your legs to perform spider man push up exercise.
6. Diamond Push Up
The diamond push up is an excellent way to build triceps strength without the need for weights.
To do diamond push ups, place your hands together so that your index fingers and thumbs are touching each other to form a diamond shape. Place them on the floor directly below your sternum with your elbows tucked in towards your rib cage.
Use your legs, glutes and core to prevent any swinging motion. This motion will create an angle with your torso. Lower yourself towards the floor until your nose almost touches the floor. Your elbows should make a 90 degree angle at the bottom of the diamond push up movement. Push back up explosively using the strength in your triceps.
7. Jumping Push Up
The jumping push up is an exercise that not many people attempt and even fewer master, but those who do quickly reap the benefits.
When done properly, jumping push ups can improve your power and explosiveness as well as work out your chest muscles, shoulders and triceps.
Begin with the standard push up position, lower yourself until your elbows bend to a 90-degree angle. As you press up, push hard enough to lift your hands and body as high off the ground as possible. Keep your core engaged and body straight at all times throughout the exercise. Return to the starting position.
8. Pike Push Up
The pike push up is a great exercise for building shoulder strength and improving core stability.
Start out in an inverted press-up position with your hands shoulder width apart and feet together. Keep your legs straight and lift your hips into the air.
You should now be in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Lower yourself by bending at the elbows and bring yourself closer to the ground. Keep your head and neck in line with your back and try not to let them drop below this line.
Once you can’t get any closer to the ground without arching your back push yourself up again. Repeat the movement for as many repetitions as you need.
The next time you’re looking for an effective, simple workout to target multiple muscle groups, give the push up a try. With just your body weight as resistance, this exercise can be modified to fit your fitness level and target different muscles. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, adding the push up to your routine is sure to help you reach your fitness goals! If you want to try something different from a push-up but reaps the same benefits, do these 10 Push Up Alternatives instead!