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5 Exciting Push-up Variations to Add to the Workout Routine


The push-up is a classic exercise that builds your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. Push-ups make a great addition to any workout plan for several reasons. First, you can do push-ups anywhere as they do not require fancy equipment. While some push-up variations do use certain objects, there are plenty of variations that only require your own body weight. Second, the seemingly infinite number of push-up variations allow you to frequently mix-up your routine. In this blog, we will cover the proper form needed to perform a standard push-up safely. From there, we will offer five different types of push-ups, ranging from intermediate to advanced, to help you stay fit and gain muscle. 

No matter what type of push-up you perform, always use proper form to reduce the risk of injury. For a standard push-up, start off by placing your arms on the ground shoulder-length apart. While in a plank position, lower your body until your chest is about an inch or two above the floor. Next, push your torso away from the ground until your arms lock. You have now completed one standard push-up. There are a few more tips to keep in mind. Always keep your head and neck straight so you are looking at the ground. Make sure that your hips and torso are straight rather than slouching your hips downward or pushing your hips upward. Maintaining proper form not only reduces the potential for injury but also ensures that you are getting the most out of your routine and that the right muscles are being targeted.

With the proper technique in mind, we have several push-up variations you can try.

Wide-Grip Push-Up

Begin from the normal push-up position but spread your hands wider than shoulder length. Unlike a normal push-up, which puts an equal focus on your chest, shoulders, and triceps, the wide-grip push-up places the brunt of the work on your chest. While you are performing this exercise, try to put the pressure of the weight on the outside of your hands rather than the bottom of your hand/wrist. Push-ups can easily lead to overuse injuries, especially in the wrists. This is a helpful nugget to keep in mind for all push-up exercises.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate.

Diamond Push-Up

Rather than concentrating on the chest like the wide-grip push-up, the diamond push-up places an emphasis on your triceps. Instead of starting off in the standard push-up position, bring your hands together under your chest so your fingers create a diamond pattern. Use the same range of motion you would during a standard push-up but make sure to use a controlled motion as this variation can put a lot of stress on your wrists.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate.

Clap Push-Up

This is a variation that will surely impress your friends! Start in the standard push-up position. Once your chest is an inch or two from the floor, push yourself up with ferocity and clap your hands in midair before falling back into push-up position. This exercise focuses on your chest while also building explosiveness.

Difficulty Level: Advanced.

Spider-Man Push-Up

While this exercise won’t give you superpowers, you may feel like a superhero post-workout! Do a standard push-up with a twist: as you rise, raise one knee toward your elbow. On your next push-up, raise your other knee toward your elbow. Alternate with each subsequent push-up. To give you a visual image, the motion used for this exercise resembles Spider-Man climbing a wall. This variation does a great job of strengthening your core.

Difficulty Level: Advanced.

Drop Push-Up

We don’t recommend trying this variation unless you are looking for a highly advanced option and you have access to gym equipment. Set up two boxes in between your body with just enough room for you to do a standard push-up comfortably with each hand on one box. As you are rising up from your push-up, use the same explosiveness seen in a clap push-up so that you have the momentum to fall and do a push-up in between the boxes. Repeat this process, alternating between push-ups on the boxes and push-ups on the ground. Be careful with drop push-ups as they require you to react quickly.

Difficulty Level: Highly Advanced.

If these five variations have not quenched your thirst for push-ups, this article offering 82 push-up exercises should do the trick. As always, don’t push yourself too hard and make sure you’re using proper form with each variation you attempt. Enjoy your workout!

If exercising is a passion, you may be interested in our weightlifting tips blog and our top four strengthening exercises for your wrists blog. Even if you use proper form and don’t push yourself past your limits, accidents do happen. If you happen to suffer an injury anywhere from the upper arm to the fingertips, we’re here to help. 844-HAND-911 is the official Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas hand trauma hotline. For non-emergency situations, schedule an appointment with us today!

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