My Top 10 Favorite Push-Up Variations

Push-ups are a simple bodyweight exercise you can use to strengthen your chest and core.

Slight variations can make pushups more fun and challenging.

Here are 10 of my favorite push-up variations!

10. Kneeling Push-ups  

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

Kneeling push-ups are a great beginner modification.

Tip 1. Exhale as you push up.
Tip 2. Keep your lower back flat throughout.

9. Standard Push-ups  

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

Standards push-ups are practical for getting off the floor using your upper body strength.

Tip 1. Exhale as you push up.
Tip 2. Keep your lower back flat throughout.

8. Pop Up Push-ups  

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

Pop up push-ups train explosive power using the shoulder and chest muscles.

Tip 1. Emphasize the up phase lower yourself at half the speed.
Tip 2. Exhale as you push.

7. Push-Up Row 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, lats, core

Push-up up row strengthens your chest and mid-back while improving shoulder stability.

Tip 1. Keep your elbow close to your body as you row.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes to help keep your hips square.

6. Diamond Push-Ups

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

Diamond push-ups require more core strength and engagement from the deltoids.

Tip 1. Place your hands in a diamond position.
Tip 2. Lower yourself with your lower back flat.

5. Push-Ups To Downward Dog

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

Push-up to down dog adds a nice hamstring stretch to the push-up move.

Tip 1. Tailbone up and back as you down dog.
Tip 2. Bend your knees if your heels don’t press the floor with your legs straight.

4. Alternating Single Leg Push-Ups 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

Alternating single leg push-up to places more load in the upper body.

Tip 1. Lower yourself to the floor evenly.
Tip 2. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your leg.

3. T Push-Ups 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

T pushups require additional shoulder and core stabilization during the side plank.

Tip 1. Stack your shoulder directly over your wrist.
Tip 2. Move in a controlled manner.

2. Alternating Knee to Head Push-Ups 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core

Bringing your knee to your head between each push-up brings places more emphasis on the core.

Tip 1. Lower yourself to the floor evenly.
Tip 2. Transition smoothly.

1. Spiderman Push-Ups 

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Primary muscles targeted: Shoulders, pecs, core, glutes

Spiderman push-ups engage the outer glutes and core.

Tip 1. Hug your knee as close to your side as your can.
Tip 2. Breathe calmly throughout.

Watch me perform the exercises in real time in the video below.

What is your favorite pushup variation? Please share in the comments section below!

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