The Ultimate Push-up Guide: 35+ Push-up Exercises

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 21, 2009 · 63 comments

in Health & Sports

pushups

The humble push-up. Used by militaries all over the world to get their soldiers in fighting condition and middle school P.E. teachers to punish punk kids. The push-up is the ultimate bodyweight exercise. It requires no special equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime. The push-up often gets overlooked because many men find it too simple or too boring to perform. But by switching up your hand and feet positions and adding in a few twists, the push-up becomes a versatile muscle builder that will leave you begging for mercy. The Art of Manliness has compiled the ultimate resource on push-ups; here is a primer on every variation (with video) we could find. Your muscles will hate you, but they’ll never get bored.

The Ultimate Push-up Exercise List

Hands Elevated Push-up

If you struggle to perform a standard push-up and knee push-ups are too easy, try this one as a segue between the two. Elevating your hands makes the push-up easier. Place your hands on an elevated surface like a park bench or even a counter top. Place feet on the ground. Perform push-up.

Standard Push-up

It’s the one you’ve been doing since your days in middle school. The standard push-up works your chest and shoulder muscles. Lie down on the floor face down with your feet close together. Place your hands shoulder width apart. While maintaining a straight body, lower yourself down until your chest touches the ground. Push yourself up. That’s one rep. Once you mastered this one, it’s time to expand your push-up horizons.

Wide Grip Push-up

The wide grip push-up puts more emphasis on your chest. Place your hands wider than shoulder width apart and perform a push-up.

Diamond Push-up

The diamond push-up is a triceps killer. Place your hands together so they form a diamond. You can either put your hands underneath your chest or your head to hit different muscles. Once your hands are in place, perform a push-up.

Feet Elevated Push-up

Elevating your feet from the ground will work your shoulders more when you perform a push-up. Put your feet on an elevated surface. A bed or a park bench works well. Place your hands on the ground. Perform a push-up.

Hindu Push-up

The Hindu push-up has been used by Indian wrestlers and physical culture enthusiasts for centuries. It consists of a dynamic full body movement that will build strength and flexibility in your chest, shoulders, back, hips, and triceps.

Get in position by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend down and place your hands on the floor while keeping your arms and legs straight. You should look like an upside down human “v”  with your butt being the point of the “v” and your head pointing down to the ground.

To perform the Hindu push-up, you’re going to make sort of a swooping motion with your body. Bring your head down and forward by bending your elbows. When your head gets close to the ground, continue moving your torso forward by arching your back and lowering your hips. Your hips will now be near your hands. Make sure to get a good stretch in your back. The first time you perform a Hindu Push-up you might find yourself falling on your face during the initial descent. Keep at it though.

Return to the starting position and repeat. The Hindu push-up is difficult to explain in words; you really have to see it to understand it. So make sure to watch the video.

Dive Bomber Push-up

The dive bomber push-up is performed exactly like the Hindu Push-up, except when you return to the starting position, you follow the same swooping motion you make on the descent in reverse. It gives those muscles a bit more of a workout than Hindu Push-ups.

Close Grip Hindu Push-up

If you want to focus more on your triceps while doing the Hindu push-up, just place your hands in the diamond position. This one is a killer!

Close Grip Dive Bomber Push-up

Same as the dive bomber except hands are in the diamond position.

Elbows to Floor Hindu Push-up

During the descent part of the push-up, lower your elbows to the floor. When you arch your back, lift your elbows off the floor and place all the weight on your hands. Return to the beginning position. By bringing your elbows off the floor, you’ll put more emphasis on your triceps and shoulders.

Feet on the Wall Hindu Push-ups

If you’re wanting to get a solid deltoids workout, try this variation of the Hindu push-up. But be warned- this one is super hard.  Stand in front of a wall facing away from it. Lower your hands to floor and bring your feet up the wall. You want to bring your feet high enough up the wall that your legs are perpendicular to the wall and your torso is parallel with it. Perform a Hindu push-up and return to starting position. You can also bring your hands close together for an even tougher exercise.

Feet on the Wall Dive Bomber Push-up

Same as above, except return to the starting position by following your descent movement in reverse.

Tiger Push-up

The Tiger push-up focuses on your triceps. Assume a Hindu/Dive Bomber push-up position. You should look like an upside down V. Place your hands close together in a diamond position. Now, lower your head to the ground by bending your elbows, but keep your butt up in the air. Push yourself back up.

One Handed Push-up

The one handed push-up is a feat of strength that separates the men from the boys. Not only do you need brute arm, shoulder, and chest strength, but you also have to call on several smaller muscles to stabilize yourself as you lift your bodyweight with one arm.

Assume the normal push-up position, but spread your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Place one hand behind your thigh. Lower yourself slowly to the ground and press up. Repeat until you can’t do anymore and then switch to the other hand. The more square and level you keep your body, the more difficult the push-up will be. To make it easier, turn your torso and legs away from the pressing hand.

The Rocky Push-up

The Rocky push-up is a one handed push-up except you alternate hands on each rep. This is a must when you’re training to fight Apollo Creed.

Handstand Push-up

Forget shoulder presses. If you want a killer shoulder workout, look no further than the handstand push-up. To do a true handstand push-up, you’ll first need to master the handstand, a feat of athleticism in itself. To perform the handstand push-up, assume a handstand position. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your inverted body towards the ground. In order to maintain balance, you’re going to have to call on your core and other smaller stabilizing muscles. Because you’re pressing yourself off of the ground, the handstand push-up is great for your delts.

Wall Assisted Handstand Push-up

If you can’t do a handstand yet, you can still reap the shoulder working benefits of the handstand push-up with the assistance of a wall. Stand near a wall facing away from it. Place your feet against the wall and slowly climb them up the wall until you’re straight up on your hands. Bend your elbows and lower your head towards the ground. Press up.

Plyometric Push-up

Plyometric exercises can help increase speed and explosiveness by loading and contracting a muscle as fast as possible. Plyometric exercises are particularly useful for athletes. You’ve probably seen plyometric exercises for the lower body. Squat jumps are a good example. But you can get the explosive benefit of plyos in your upper body workout as well with a Plyometric Push-up.

To perform the Plyometric Push-up, assume a normal push-up position. Lower yourself to the floor. With explosive force, push off the floor with enough force that your hands leave the floor. Repeat.

Clapping Push-up


The clapping push-up is the same thing as a plyometric push-up. The only difference is that when you explode off the ground, you clap your hands while you’re in the air. In addition to the benefits of the plyometric movement, I’ve found that adding a clap in the middle can help increase hand speed. And it just makes you feel cool.

Triple Clap Push-up

The triple clap push-up requires super agility and hand speed. Perform a plyometric push-up. As your body is coming up, clap once, when your body reaches its peak, clap behind your back, and before your hands hit the ground, clap one more time.

Planche Push-up

This is the ultimate push-up. Only the most athletic and strong will be able to perform this monster. The planche is gymnastic movement used during floor routines. It’s also done by break dancers. Simply put, this is a push-up without the feet touching the ground and just balancing on your hands.

To perform the planche, move your hands back towards your hips. Instead of your hands facing forward, have them face back towards your feet. This makes it easier on your wrists. Lower yourself down and then push up.

Pseudo Planche Push-up

If you’re not quite ready to do a full on planche push-up, start off with a pseudo planche push-up. Assume the planche push-up position by placing your hands back towards your hips, hands facing back towards your feet. Your feet remain on the ground, hence the name “pseudo planche push-up.” Lower and push yourself up. Repeat.

Rotational Push-up

This push-up variation works your core. Assume the standard push-up position. Lower yourself to the ground and push up. As you come up, rotate your body so that your right hand comes off the floor and your right arm extends overhead. You should look like a giant “T” tilted on its side. Return to the starting position, lower yourself, push up, and rotate until your left hand points up.

Spiderman Push-up

Assume the standard push-up position. As you lower your body, bend your right knee and rotate it outwards. Touch your right elbow with your right knee. As you push your body back up, return your leg to the starting position. Alternate the movement between your right and left sides.

Superman Push-up

The Superman Push-up will work your abs more than doing 100 crunches. It’s also an amazing back exercise. Lie on the floor face down. Instead of placing your hands by your chest, place them further out in front of you head. Lift up. I thought this would be a cinch, but the first time I did it, I was struggling to do even one.

Grasshopper Push-up

Assume the standard push-up position. As you lower your body to the floor, step your right leg through the space between your left hand and foot, and cross it all the way over to the left side, resting on the outer edge of your foot. As you lift your body back up, step your right foot back so you’re in the standard push-up position again. Repeat with your left foot. This counts as one rep.

Aztec Push-up

These are insane. Do not attempt unless you are supremely fit. Start off in a standard push-up position. Lower yourself to the ground. Explode your entire body off the ground and perform a jack knife by touching your fingers to your toes in mid air. Return to starting position. Repeat if you haven’t killed yourself.

Fingertips Push-up

If you want to work on your forearm strength for your golf or tennis game, look no further than the fingertips push-up. This is definitely advanced, so proceed with caution. Instead of resting on your hands, rest your weight on your fingertips.

Jack Lalanne Fingertip Push-ups

The Jack Lalanne Fingertip Push-up is essentially the Superman Push-up on your finger tips. What’s amazing is that even though Jack Lalanne is almost 100, he can still bust this bad boy out. If that doesn’t inspire you to drop to the floor and start cranking push-ups out like a mad man, I don’t know what will.

Bruce Lee One Handed Two Fingertips Push-up

Bruce Lee was an amazing physical specimen. Despite being a small guy, he had the strength of 100 men. His Herculean strength is evidenced by his ability to do multiple push-ups with only two fingers of one hand. That’s just crazy.

And who are we kidding? 98.7% of all men will probably never be able to do a one handed, two-fingertip push-up. It’s just cool to know that it’s humanly possible.

Charles Atlas Push-up

Are you tired of being the 95 pound weakling who gets sand kicked in their face? Then crank out some Charles Atlas push-ups. To perform this push-up, you’ll need three chairs. Place one chair where your feet go and the other two chairs where your hands go. Assume the push-up position on these chairs. Lower yourself to the floor. Because you’re elevated off the floor by the chairs, you can go down further and get a deep stretch in your chest and shoulders. It also makes the going back up more difficult.

One Legged Push-up

The one-legged push-up exercises your core and glutes in addition to your arms.

Assume the standard push-up position and simply raise your right leg straight up, so that now you are only balancing your weight on your left foot. Do push-ups in this position and make sure to keep that right leg straight and in the air.

Isometric Push-up

Isometric push-ups create constant tension on muscles and are great for developing muscle endurance.

Assume a standard push-up position. Lower yourself to the ground,  and hold the position there instead of pushing yourself back up. Hold for 10 seconds, or longer if you want. Flex and unflex your muscles while you’re holding it for an even deeper burn. Push back up and repeat.

Knuckle Push-up

Knuckle push-ups are often used by martial artists to toughen their knuckles and strengthen their wrists and forearms in order to deliver more punishing blows.

To perform a a knuckle push-up, simply perform standard push-ups while resting on your knuckles instead of your hands.

Staggered Push-up

Staggered push-ups allow you to isolate one side of your chest.  They also require you to call on your core for stabilization.  Staggered push-ups work your chest, triceps, shoulders, and abs.

Assume a standard push-up position.  Bring your right arm back towards your abdomen. This creates the staggered position.  Start cranking out a set of push-ups. When done, move your left hand back towards your stomach, and perform another set of push-ups.

Side to Side Push-up

Side-to-side push-ups allow you to focus on one side of your body. They’re a great push-up to do to segue into one armed push-ups.

Assume a standard push-up position. When you lower yourself to the ground, lean to your left. When you push back up, it should feel like your left arm is doing most of the work and your right arm is there only for stabilization. Return to the starting position. Lower yourself again, but this time lean right.

Know any other push-up variations? Share them with us in the comments!

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew Barbour July 22, 2009 at 12:16 am

I highly recommend the One Hundred Pushups program (www.hundredpushups.com), which gives you a schedule to follow up to that goal. It’s geared towards people who struggle to do even a few. I started a few weeks ago with a max of 14, and now I’m up to 66. It’s a great program!

2 Alex Chebykin July 22, 2009 at 12:36 am

One push-up style that I do is a variation of the knuckle push-up. It is exactly the same, except all the weight is placed on the first two knuckles.

One important thing to remember when doing push-ups is to keep your head up not looking down to the floor. Also, correct breathing is key. Breathe on the way up, instead of down. Inhale as you go down, exhale as you push-up.

3 Nathaniel D. Sizemore July 22, 2009 at 1:36 am

This is a nice list; I’ll definitely add some of these to my training.

I also do knuckle push-ups the way Alex Chebykin describes, with the fists perpendicular to the body and all weight on the first two knuckles. This is the default push-up in my Taekwon-Do class. We also also do the Pseudo Planche Push-up with knuckles.

A variation I didn’t see on this list are knife hand push-ups. I learned these from a Silat instructor. These are done with your arms crossed about halfway up the forearm; your hands are in a knife hand (karate chop) position, with your palms facing down and your weight on the edge of your hands. Do five, then switch so the other hand is in front and do five more. Feet should be shoulder width apart, with the back and neck straight.

You can also vary how many fingers you use on fingertip push-ups. I don’t know that I’ll ever get to Bruce Lee’s level, but six fingers (three per hand) is doable.

I’ve also seen martial artists do wrist push-ups, with the hands turned such that the palms are facing up and your weight is on the back of the wrists.

4 Henrik July 22, 2009 at 1:46 am

I’m trying to get back into excercise after a year of doing hardly anything. Used to have a lot of upper body strength, but now struggle with a few pushups. Used to do a lot of Feet Elevated Push-ups and Charles Atlas Push-ups.

I’m going to giver Andrew Barbour suggestion – http://www.hundredpushups.com, looks good.

5 J.D. Meier July 22, 2009 at 4:16 am

Sweet stuff. I especially like the wall inclusive ones. Some day I want to master the pinky push up.

6 ThomsonsPier July 22, 2009 at 6:48 am

@Nathaniel:

I’ve seen a similar selection through kung fu practice, but a word of warning on that last you mention; back-of-the-hand push-ups, aside from probably needing a catchier name, are used to condition that hand position for strikes with quite an extreme wrist bend. I’d advise anyone trying them to keep the reps very low to start with, as your bodyweight will be focused through your wrists during the movement. Pushing too hard is a recipe for tendonitis, which will stop you doing any push-ups at all until it’s healed.

On a cheerier note, I’ve been doing push-ups with an exercise ball (a space-hopper without the handles, essentially). The two most basic variations are to use the ball to raise the feet, as in the feet elevated push-up above, and to place the hands on the ball in the diamond position. In both cases, the extra lateral instability of the ball will engage the core muscles more and give you that lovely ache in the abdominal region after your workout. There are a wealth of other positions in which to use the ball.

7 MIKEY July 22, 2009 at 7:24 am

whoa! man i’m dizzy from reading all those variations on a theme! maybe i’m one of those suckers born every minute, but i bought a pair of those”perfect pushup” contraptions… i don’t how “perfect” it is but it ain’t as easy as it looks… after i did 25-30 pushups on those and then did some good old-fashioned pushups, they were alot easier to execute… i’m no expert but a good way to ease into the two finger tip p/u start with one on tips any combo you like five four three fingers whatever… just don’t fall on your face!

8 Yet Another Mike July 22, 2009 at 9:17 am

Thanks for the link to the _100 Push Ups_ website. It looks like a realistic training program. I am also intrigued by it’s situp and squat sister sites. The fact that the entire program it is free and available on the website (or $1.99 USD for the iPhone app) makes me believe the Internet has some good in it after all.

9 Dr Awesome July 22, 2009 at 10:27 am

One that I didn’t see mentioned that I do a lot are taser pushups. You execute a normal pushup, but on the way back up you explode your hands and feet off the ground like you have been shocked with a taser. As with all explosive movements, these will wear you out pretty quickly. I do these a lot as part of interval training…sprint 50 yards, 20 prisoner squats, 15 tasers, 20 situps, jog back, repeat 6 times, rest, then move on to something else. Good cardio routine.

10 Steve C. July 22, 2009 at 10:53 am

Thanks for reminding me to get back to this… I had gotten up to about 50 pushups on the 100 pushup plan, but have since let it go astray. Marriage gets to you, man.

11 MadMolecule July 22, 2009 at 10:54 am

By the way, when doing a regular old floor-pushup or some variant thereof, you should generally only lower yourself until your upper arms are horizontal to the floor. Over time, going lower than that can play hell on your shoulders, rotator cuffs, etc.

12 Phil July 22, 2009 at 11:06 am

Who’d'a thunk there’d be so many variations on a theme?

I must admit however that some of these such as the finger tip push ups look to be more of a parlor trick than having any true benefit. Maybe I’m wrong though.

13 Radio July 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I love the workout posts. Keep them coming.

14 Jack July 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Push ups used to be my favorite in middle school. That and running. I was never into sports in the traditional sense.

I’d say my favorite was the Aztec push up video. That guys attitude was just awesome. And he was representing the Marines!

15 Torrey July 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm

It’s funny that this article was published because a friend and I were just talking about how Herschel Walker used bodyweight exercises growing up. I’m going to have to give some of these a try.

16 John S July 22, 2009 at 8:01 pm

This is a great compilation. As a committed exercise enthusiast I still find push ups (and all there variations) as an exercise any man has to master. I particularly liked the: Dive Bomber, Planche, Aztec (insane btw!!), Rocky, and all that have variations with your legs while performing the push up.

A couple I to add: Push up with one hand on a medicine ball, rotate side/hand each rep. These are great for speed and strength – hits your core really good too!

A twist on the Charles Atlas: get two step up blocks (for an aerobic class, or a step for a pull up bar, or a stack of books) place them apart a few inches outside shoulder width on the floor. Perform one push up with your hands on the blocks (it will be an elevated wide grip position), when you explode up pull your hands in and land on the floor in between the two blocks and perform a close grip push up. Your next push up will explode you back onto the blocks, etc. These are my favorite! You can also alternate in between the blocks with one hand elevated, and the other on the floor, alternate in between each rep.

I would suggest 1000 reps in a day if you have a day off! I save this one for a rainy/snowy day! Perform sets of 10/25/50/75/100 or whatever you can to make your way to achieving 1000 reps in a day!

17 Zerobomb July 23, 2009 at 2:22 am

I have seen the side to side done in a single motion with the transition from one side to the other done in the lowered position instead of the raised position.
I.e.
start at the top, lower yourself to the left, move to the right, raise yourself.
start at the top, lower yourself to the right, move to the left, raise, repeat.

Once you can do some of those try combining them with the diamond hand position.

Finally, the one handed push up looks much better when the feet are not spread extra wide.

18 Bruno Afonso July 23, 2009 at 7:03 am

This was a great article and there are lots of exercises here that I didn’t know.
I’d like to add just a few more but I have no idea if there’s a name for them:
a) if you want to go up a level from the Diamond push-up, try placing one hand on top of the other and see how you manage (personally, I prefer having them crossed in an X shape, but you can try and align all fingers). Everything else is the same as in the Diamond version.

the following 3 are great for building endurance
b1) In a standard push-up position, go up on a 6 time count, making a brief pause on each count. You should be halfway through on the count of 3. Do the same on your way down. Remember, it is not a continuous movement, but rather 6 quick movements up and 6 down (although making a slow continuous movement will also help you get endurance)
b2) same as before, but come up with one explosive push-up and only do the 6 time count on the way down
b3) from a standard push-up position, go all the way up, then go down halfway, back all the way up, go down all the way, go halfway up, go down, do a full rep all the way up and down, etc. Do as many variations of this as you’d like. It’s more tiresome than you’d think.

19 William July 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

I highly recommend adding the rest of the Charles Atlas course to your Charles Atlas pushups! The website to get the entire course is http://www.charlesatlas.com! It was great to do this amazing course and the results are the greatest! He is an Icon and he was a combination of superman as well as all the great super heros, but he was real!

20 Andrew - Success Questions July 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I have never seen a more comprehensive guide to push-ups… great work and thanks!

21 Nate July 23, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I don’t know what it’s called, or if it even has a name, but I saw a video featuring one of the free-running guys, and he was doing sideways push-ups/push-outs (?) – COMPLETELY INSANE – basically, he held his body out from a vertical pole (kind of like a flag), and then moved his body closer and further away. Imagine looking at someone doing pull-ups, but turned 90 degrees.

Okay, found him – Dominic LaCasse:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb2k5_ftaE0

Truly NUTS!!!

22 Brian July 23, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I used to box and looked for ways to get a bit more explosive and found this trainer online. Very “no-nonsense” approach to working out. Definitely found his methods to work for me. Here’s his variations on pushups that I’ve been working on. The side to side ones have been knocking me out!
http://www.tubechop.com/watch/19665

23 Alexandre de V. July 23, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Hey, excellent article. I love doing push-ups. I have a suggestion : how about an Art Of Manliness «I love push-ups» T-shirt? It doesn’t have to say that but I would definitely wear a T-shirt about doing push-ups.

24 INSPECTOR Bob July 23, 2009 at 11:51 pm

The embedded YouTube videos overlap the bottom toolbar.

25 Marcos July 24, 2009 at 8:53 am

I wish I had thouse bodies, and that strenth!
I am too lazy.
Must workout a little bit.
Hugs to all.

26 Jon Daley July 24, 2009 at 11:33 am

I didn’t see it on the list – I’ve heard them called “ultimate pushups”, I think they should just be called insanely crazy. Sort of a combination between the handstand and planche. There is a video on hulu.com, but I can’t find it right now. His legs never touch the ground, but he starts in a handstand, and then lowers down to a regular (horizontal) position with only his hands touching the ground.

27 Ivan Girevoy July 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I hate push ups but my “evil russian coach” says I need stronger triceps…and better conditioning.

28 Visitor July 24, 2009 at 7:46 pm

All these embedded YouTube videos brought my browser to a standstill and my CPU fan to high speed. I had to close the tab and block YouTube with NoScript so I can allow each video one-at-a-time.

29 Boesvig July 25, 2009 at 3:50 pm

@John Daley:

Youtube-video of the “insanely crazy pushup” (I’ve seen it used as a circus performance) here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rghpvUUy7bA&feature=related

30 Ste Price July 26, 2009 at 5:56 am

These are good! I also do a press-up variation at the top of my stairs. I get in press-up position with my fingers hanging over the edge of the top stair, and walk down & up; as in right hand down, left hand down, right hand up, left hand up. I do this for one minute, rest, & repeat until I can’t do it any more, changing the leading hand for each set. It really burns the stabilising muscles in the abdomen as well, I like them :)

31 James July 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

@Andrew Barbour

I just wanted to say thanks for providing that link. I’ve been following the program for 2 weeks now (from the bottom tier, as well) and I’ve noticed a significant jump in my upper body strength. Again, appreciate it.

32 Tom July 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm

These look pretty cook defiantly going to try them all (except maybe the Aztec one)

33 Charlie on PA Tpk August 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

Great list; I’ve studied taekwondo for a few years and push-ups are a definite staple, particularly knuckle and fingertip. I, too, beneifted from http://hundredpushups.com/ and also join in recommending it.

34 sandal August 4, 2009 at 11:19 am

This is the default push-up in my Taekwon-Do class.

35 Andrew Herring August 11, 2009 at 2:08 am

I’ve always been a fan of Bruce Lee, and I’ve set a goal of being able to do the two finger push ups. So far I’m able to do fingertip push ups on one hand, I’m hoping I can make my goal before I start training in Jujitsu.

36 Phillip Asby September 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm

A good compilation and pushups/pullups are harder than people think – you can do a lot of bench presses and still have to work pretty darn hard doing pushups. There are a few variations my trainer had me doing:

“T” pushups – at the top of the pushup you raise one arm and point it to the ceiling so you are facing sideways. This can be made more difficult by holding two small barbells and doing the same motion (including balancing on the barbells during the pushup).

Box pushups – use a single step or other sturdy surface roughly 3-4″ high, put one hand on the box and the other on the floor and do a normal pushup then switch to the other side.

37 Jeff September 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm

To bring stabilizing muscles into play and force yourself to balance the effort from both arms equally, try this:
Place a dumbbell on the floor, parallel to your body, and balance a 2×4 (~2.5 – 3 feet long) on the “handle” section of the dumbbell, so it’s perpendicular to the dumbbell. Place your hands on the board at whatever width you like and do regular push-ups, not letting the ends of the board touch the floor. At first, a hexagonal dumbbell makes this easier, but you’ll get the hang of this pretty quickly. Then you can move on to a dumbbell consisting of weight plates, which is more difficult because now you have to prevent the dumbbell from rolling as well. When that gets too easy, balance the board on a small medicine ball. Replacing the 2×4 with a metal bar or pipe ups the difficulty at each level. Enjoy.

38 k2000k September 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I’ve always admired Jack Lalane. His advice on nutrition and exercise in the 1950′s is still spot on. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, protein, good fats and watch the sugars. I follow nutrition pretty closely and it’s pretty sad all the fad diets that are out there when Jacks’ advice, and a modern day extension Dr. John Berardi, outline really simple ways to take care of yourself and stay in ship. Jack is also a physical beast, even nearing 100 he has done some amazing athletic feats, like when he was seventy handcuffed towing boats in Long Beach Harbor.

39 Steve-O September 29, 2009 at 1:26 am

Wow.. Nice post..

Don’t forget Reverse Pushups

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04pNSTBikNE

40 dave m k October 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

great post, thanks

here are a few more variations:

1. place hands on a stabilizer ball – do normal push-up

2. place feet or shins on a stabilizer ball

3. assume normal position. place a medicine ball under left hand. lower yourself to ground, on the “push” back up – explode up, and switch hands. (it may be easier to sort of roll the ball to the other hand.) continue with motion, alternating hands each time.

4. the ultimate — do push up with a stabilizer ball under shins and a medicine ball of different size under each hand – requires much core strength.

41 Hugh Foist January 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm

A good program to follow if you want to do 100 pushups is called 100 pushups. It starts out slow and works you into a periodized program. I seem to be stuck in the 1st week but that’s okay because it’s better than nothing.

42 spence March 10, 2010 at 10:17 pm

I love doing pushups. When I was younger, I could do 110 pushups in a row. Since then, I have put on 85 pounds so my numbers are way lower. I am at 50 in a row. I can do feet inclined one arm pushups. I tried to do the aztec pushups but could only touch my knees, not my feet. Gonna have to work on that one.

43 lil b March 13, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I think when you do a push-up your chest should hit the ground. This is how i always learned it and i think the other ways are just cheating.

44 Pat June 13, 2010 at 2:45 am

I used to do wall push ups. You stand in front of a wall facing the wall and bend down and kick your feet up on the wall so you are standing on your hands with your face looking out away from the wall. You have to leave just a bit of room between you and the wall when kicking up and let your feet fall back just a little to rest on the wall and balance you. From the handstand position you lower your head towards the ground and then press back up. You have to have some decent strength to do wall push ups and if you get too tired go ahead and kick away from the wall and let yourself down so you don’t end up hurting yourself.

45 Edward June 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I do thumb push ups, where i only have my thumbs touching the ground. I currently can do about 15. I will upload a video or a website in a few days.

46 Moosa July 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm

i do pushups with 10 kg flour on my back.presently i am on 13.

47 moosa July 6, 2010 at 6:06 pm

on 30th july 2010 i am having a push up tournament with my sons & nephews.16 sets of different push ups.semi finals push ups are 1)child on back 2)wrists 3)3 fingers.1st round,10 sets with 30 seconds break.2 round 3 sets with 60 secs break & 3rd round 3 sets with 90 secs break.

48 john July 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

AZTEC PUSHUPS: don’t mess with anyone who can do 100 of these. In fact, don’t mess with anyone who can do ONE of these.

49 The Electrifyingly Divine Prince of Smoothness July 26, 2010 at 5:08 am

take two dumb bells with round weights and get into normal push-up position with the weights on the floor at level with your shoulders and roll them out. pull them back in, in the same fashion as you would do dumb bell flys. a video of this exercise is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm1Bo_QBZ_c

50 Thomas July 26, 2010 at 9:35 am

great. collect them all!

51 Andy August 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Actually, the planche pushups are not the ultimate pushups–look up 90 degree pushups. You go from planche position (body horizontal, only hands touching ground), to a handstand.

52 Jerome August 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I’m a big fan of shoulder shrug push-ups.

You do it by keeping your elbows straight and moving your body up and down with your shoulders, kind of like a shoulder shrug in reverse.

Great for the serratus.

53 Clusterfuzz August 13, 2010 at 12:48 am

I’ve recently started getting back into shape, and needed to really work the chest and back. So, I started doing an exercise in the doorway, similar to Charles Atlas push-ups,

Stand back, feet together, two to four feet from an open doorway with your hands at about eye level flat on the door frame. Lower yourself, keeping your feet flat on the ground (flexing the Achilles tendon) so that your forearms are flush with the door frame, elbow to fingertips. Adjust hand height so you are comfortable. Keeping your spine straight, use you chest to pivot yourself forward and back.

Always make sure you aren’t stretching your shoulders too far. If you want a deeper exercise, simply keep your feet farther from the door frame. The burn the next day is intense in the chest and obliques!

54 brendon October 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I always do knuckle push ups because on my hands always leave my wrists sore for about 2 weeks. Never they had so many variations. When I do push ups I always kiss the floor.good way to get lower

55 ??? December 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm

lots of possible variations, maybe not all possible:

knife edge planche
knuckle planche
pinky pushup
diamond planche
one handed 90 degree pushup
pinky planche
pylmetric one handed planche
pylometric staggered pinky pushup
one handed knife edge pylometric planche
no hands pushup
no hands planche pushup (for chest)
no hands 90 degree pushup
pinky handstand
180 degree pushup
360 degree pushup
knuckle 90 degree pushup
knife edge 90 degree pushup
knuckle clap pushups
knife edge clap pushups
knuckle handstand
knife edge handstand
knuckle jumping jack pushups
diamond handstand
knife edge jumping ack pushups
diamond jumping jack pushups
pinky superman pushups
knuckle superman pushups
pylometric superman pushups
clap superman pushups
one pinky aztec pushups
one hand knuckle aztec pushups

lots and lots and lots more :)

56 Qka December 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I have another varient. I present you… the spartan pushups. It’s a combination of the staggered pushup and the pylometric pushup, when you push yourself up with explosive power from the staggered pushup position, you switch the position of your arms, so if the right hand was further in front of you, now that hand comes to your hip.

57 MSD January 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm

check out convict conditioning… teaches you the right way to do 1 arm pushups at step 10. i’m at step 8.

58 Cory February 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Highly energetic blog, I liked that a lot. Will there be
a part 2?

59 Jon July 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Shaolin sitting to handstand on fingers… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LkhVeW7VV0

60 Ayden November 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Clap behind your back pushups and pushups where you throw your arms up in front of you when you come off the ground (These are both possible)

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