List of Different Push-Up Exercises

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Wiki Revision Date - 17 May 2016 12:47

List of Different Push-Up Exercises

This list provides you with a wide range of push-up exercises that can be used during warm-ups and strength training exercises. These push-up variations work on different muscles and decrease the risk of exercise boredom. They range from easy push-ups such as Knee Push-Ups to more advanced push-ups such as Clapping Push-Ups.

For written exercise instructions and instructional videos focused on a number of these push-ups, please visit the main Strength Training section.

Push-Up Variations with Videos and/or Instructions

  • Traditional Push-Up - The basic push-up focuses on your chest, shoulders, triceps, etc.
  • Clapping Push-Up - This is a great plyometrics exercise for building explosive chest power.
  • Eagle Claw Push-Ups - Eagle claw push-ups are used to strengthen fingers/hands as well as the muscles in your chest, shoulders, triceps, etc.
  • Elevated Push-Up - Elevated push-ups put a greater emphasis on your upper chest and shoulder muscles. This technique is also known as a decline push-up.
  • Incline Push-Ups - Incline push-ups are easier push-ups as you are doing a push-up against a wall, etc.
  • Judo Push-Ups - Judo push-ups strengthen your arms, shoulders and chest. They also help your core strength.
  • Knee Push-Ups - This is an easy modified push-up used by people recovering from an injury or beginners who lack sufficient upper body strength for regular push-ups.
  • Knuckle Push-Ups - Some martial artists use this exercise to "strengthen" their knuckles by making them less sensitive to hitting hard targets.
  • Medicine Ball Push-Ups - This medicine ball exercise puts more emphasis on your triceps.
  • Pike Push-Up - This push-up variation places greater emphasis on your shoulders.
  • Plyometric Push-Up - A plyometrics exercise for building explosive chest power.
  • Single Arm Medicine Ball Push-Ups
  • Single Leg Push-Ups - This push-up exercise will also help your core strength.
  • T Push-Up - This advanced push-up exercise can be done with or without dumbbells.
  • Triangle Push-Up or Diamond Push-Up - This push-up variation places greater emphasis on your triceps.
  • Wide Grip Push-Ups - This push-up variation places greater emphasis on your chest muscles.

Easy Push-Ups

  • Regular - Arms shoulder width apart
  • Tricep - Hands in line with rib cage, close to body
  • Wide Grip - Hands 1 1/2 to 2 shoulder widths apart
  • Clapper - Explode off of ground and clap before landing
  • Chest Tap - Like clappers, but hit hands to chest instead
  • Medicine Ball - One hand on a medicine ball
  • Swiss Ball - Feet elevated on Swiss ball
    1. Swiss Ball Hands - Hands elevated on Swiss ball
  • Slow Negative - Descend slowly but push up quickly
  • Shoulder Touch - Do a regular pushup, then tap one shoulder before the next rep
  • Knee Touch - Same as shoulder touch, but hit knee instead
  • Ankle Touch - Same as previous two, but hit ankle instead
  • Leaning Tower - One hand in plank position, other does pushup
  • Pterodactyl Pushup - Like tricep, but turn hands outwards
  • One Leg - Place one foot on top of the other
  • Uchi Mata - Lift one leg as high as possible as you do each pushup
  • Offset Hands - One hand is farther forward than the other
  • Diamond Pushups - Hands underneath chest in triangle/diamond shape
  • Dragon Pushups - Combine a mountain climber with a pushup
  • Tricep Extension - From a plank, slide body back until arms are extended, then reset
  • T-Rotation - From pushup position, lift one hand until you are sideways, then reset
  • Star Pushups - Start with hands and legs wide
  • Pushup Jacks - From pushup position, move legs out and back like jumping Jacks
    1. Level 2 - As you go down, legs go out. On way up, legs go in.
    2. Level 3 - Do the Jacks from the low pushup position
    3. Level 4 - Same as level two, but do a clapper instead
  • 1.5 Pushups - Do a pushup, go up halfway, down, and back to the top
  • Knuckle - Almost any variation can be done on fists


  • Cross Chest Tap - Like chest tap, but hit across instead
  • Superman Pushup - Push off the ground in to Superman position, then land
  • Plyometric Pushups - After each pushup, gently push off of ground
  • Muay Thai - Clap behind the back
  • Moving Clapper - As you push off to clap, move sideways across the floor
  • Dragon Walk - After each Dragon Pushup, move forwards across the floor
  • Shoot the Moon - Do a medicine ball pushup, then switch hands by shuffling them
  • Side to Side Pushups - Like Shoot the Moon, but without a medicine ball
  • Corkscrew Pushups - As you do the pushup, turn sideways and bend your knees
  • Archer Pushups - From pushup position, shift only your body and move your side flat to the floor
  • Finger Pushups - Like regular pushups, but on the pads of your fingers
  • Forward Clappers - Like clappers, but extend arms forward when you clap
  • Backward Clappers - Like clappers, but clap near your thighs
  • Thigh Slap - Like clappers, but bring knees to chest and slap thighs before landing
  • Double Medicine Ball - One medicine ball under each hand
    1. Double Medicine Ball Feet - Medicine balls under feet instead of hands
  • Kettlebells - One kettlebell under each hand
    1. Kettlebells Feet - Kettlebells under feet instead of hands
  • Floor to Wall - Explode off of ground and hold position with hands on wall, then reset
  • Supported Handstand - Handstand pushups against wall or with someone holding legs
  • Jumping Hands Pushups - Explode off of ground and place hands on object about 1-2 feet from ground
  • Half Pushup - Hold position halfway down
    1. Full Pushup - Hold chest as close to floor as possible
  • Dip Pushup - Place hands on seats of two chairs, then lower as far as possible each time
  • Weighted - Place plates or some sort of weight between shoulder blades
  • Knuckle - Almost any variation can be done on fists
  • Clap to Chest - Clap and chest tap before landing
  • Double Regular Clapper - Clap twice in a row before landing
  • Knuckle - Almost any variation can be done on fists

Hard & Advanced Push-Ups

  • One Hand - Place hand a little farther than the shoulder
  • One Hand One Leg - Like One Hand, but lift opposite leg
  • Aztec Pushup - Explode off of ground and touch toes before landing
  • Quad Medicine Ball - One medicine ball under each hand and foot
  • Quad Kettlebell - Like previous, but substitute Kettlebells instead
  • Elevated Chain - Elevate feet and place a chain around the shoulders
  • One Hand Clapper - Combine One Hand and Clapper pushups
  • Triple Clap - Clap in front, behind and in front again before landing
  • 360 - Explode off of the ground and wheel around 360 degrees before landing
  • Lateral 180 - Explode off of the ground and spin feet 180 degrees to face opposite direction
  • Bruce Lee Pushups - One Hand pushups with arm extended on two fingers
  • Lalanne Pushups - Extend hands as far forward as possible to do pushups
  • Crucifix Pushups - Extend hands as far sideways as possible to do pushups
  • Free Handstand - Handstand pushups without support
  • Full Planche Pushups - "No foot" pushups; feet don't touch the floor and hands are by waist
  • Turtle Pushups - Place elbows in lower stomach and lift feet off floor to do pushups
  • Cricket Pushups - Place one elbow in hip crease, other in regular position and lift feet off of floor
  • Clap the Moon - Like Jump the Moon, but add a clap when you switch

Reference Sources

  1. Many of these push-up variations were supplied by Mike from MBD Martial Arts Academy - Goju Ryu, - Added 4/14/15

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