35 Push-Up Variations To Make A Boring Old Push-Up Come To Life
If you workout and never do push-ups, you’re doing a disservice to your body.
You don’t have to be in the army, navy, or marines to “pump out 20” and gosh darn it, from time to time you should do just it.
Let’s face it… push-ups can get monatonous and every once in a while it’s fun to try new variations to help challenge our bodies in different ways and make an exercise that hasn’t been fun in a while… fun.
That’s right friends, push-ups can be fun.
And to prove my point, I am sharing 35 different variations with you today. Some you may know, some you may not, and there might be some that makes you say out loud…
“What the heck is she doing?”
Either way, out of the 35 push-ups below, you’re sure to find a few that look enticing enough to add to your workout this week.
I challenge you…
To choose 10 different push-ups below, and do 10 reps of each one. That’s 100 push-ups total throughout the day. Break them up as you wish, as your only goal is to complete the challenge!
Okay then, I know you’re just shaking with excitement…
35 Push-Up Variations
1. The “Generic” Push-Up
Here’s the classic push-up!
- Keep the head in a neutral position or slightly looking forward. Make sure not to let the chin drop down to your chest.
- Shoulders should remain right over the hands, with the chest lowering down between. This is an issue I see a lot, people leaning back with their shoulders and aiming their nose between the hands.
- Keep a tight plank position, no butt up in the air.
- Lower the arms to 90-degrees or slightly lower depending on shoulder mobility and strength.
2. Modified “Knee” Push-Up
Also called a “Girl Push-Up”. Trust me, there is no shame in doing girl push-ups if you’re just getting started with them. A lot of the variations can be modified to be performed on the knees.
- Just like above, keep the shoulders over the hands and lower chest down in between.
- Keep the butt tucked under so that you’re hinging at the knees and not at the waist. Biggest mistake I see is this. Bring the belly bottom down towards the ground as your chest lowers down.
3. Scorpion Push-Up
One of my personal favorites!
- Perform the push-up as described above, however lift one leg and bend at the knee.
- Your foot should be slightly pointing towards your head like a scorpion tail.
This changes the angle that you perform the push-up so that you are slightly putting more emphasis on the shoulders and less on the chest.
4. Lizard Push-Up
A staggered hand position helps to make this dynamic move intense.
- Start with one hand in front of the other, one remains under your shoulder, the other is out in front.
- Perform a push-up, switch hands at the top and repeat.
5. Plyo Jump Push-Up
Power up for this push-up.
- Lower down as normal, then on the return explode through the hands, push off the ground.
- Land and immediately go back into lower position to repeat.
6. Spiderman Push-Up
Imagine Spiderman scaling a wall.
- Bring a knee towards your elbow, working to keep this bent leg parallel to the ground.
- The foot should be flexed.
- Complete a push-up and repeat on the other side.
7. Triangle Push-Up
A tricep burner!
- Bring your hands together to form a triangle directly below your chest.
- Focus on having the elbows go back towards your feet as you lower down, not out to the sides.
8. Wide Grip Push-Up
- Complete the push-up as normal, but have your hands as wide apart as possible.
9. 1-Legged Push-Up
- Similar to the scorpion push-up, but the leg is not arched. Slightly lift if up or if needed, stack it on top of the grounded foot.
- Complete all reps on one side before moving to the other.
10. Decline Push-Up
The golden rule… keep a strong core!
- It’s easy to have your back arch (sag) with this push-up. Focus on keeping the body tight and straight.
- Feet go up, while hands stay on the ground. Start with a slight decline before progressing to something like a bench or a box.
11. Incline Push-Up
As the name suggest, it’s opposite of the decline.
- Hands are placed up, while feet stay on the ground.
**This is a great modification for someone that is able to do knee push-ups without much trouble but doesn’t yet have the push-up.
12. Crossover Push-Up
- One hand is slightly raised up (this can be done on top of an aerobic box, book, or dumbbell).
- Perform the push-up on one side, then perform on the other crossing over each time.
13. Pike Push-Up
Aka… shoulder killer.
I love these, but if you have shoulder issues, it might be wise to leave them alone.
- Start in a “downward dog”, have the hips slightly move forward as you lower down.
- Like regular push-ups, you don’t want your head coming down behind your hands.
14. Box Jump Push-Up
A combination of a close grip push-up, regular push-up and plyo push up all in one.
- Perform a plyo push-up, then land on top of an aerobic box to perform a close grip plyo landing with both hands on the ground at starting position.
- If the jump part is too difficult, this can be done doing a regular push-up, then walking each hand up on the box to do a close grip.
15. In-Out Push-Up
I LOVE these. They not only tire out my muscles but raise my heart rate to create a killer cardio move.
- Do a push-up with feet together. Then as you’re pushing up, jump your feet apart and perform another push-up.
- Each time you lower your chest, it’s a rep (not each time you jump your feet through a full cycle).
16. Uneven Push-Up
- One hand stays on the ground, one hand stays slightly elevated.
- You can alternate reps or perform all reps on one side before changing to the other.
17. Renegade Push-Up Rows
- Keep your hands on weights, perform a push-up then row the weight up.
- Pull the weight up as if there is a string on your elbow going towards the sky.
- Lower the weight and perform on the other side.
18. Hands In Push-Up
This push-up is a part of Dan’s Date Night Series.
- The push-up is performed as normal, but the hands are turned inward.
Why? It hits the arm muscles (Triceps) at a different angle to offer a bit of a new burn.
19. Med Ball Push-Up
- Complete the push-up with both hands on the medicine ball.
This not only works your core more due to balance but also resembles a close grip push-up to add emphasis to the triceps.
20. Stability Ball Push-Up
Like the med-ball push-up, using a stability ball is a great way to work on balance and concentration.
21. Side Push-Up
This push-up may seem easy, but do a set and you’ll feel the tricep burn.
- Lay on your side, with your bottom arm wrapped around your core.
- The top arm should be placed so that the elbow is at a 90-degree angle in front of your chest.
- Push through the palm of your hand to lift your shoulders and torso off the ground. Slowly lower down.
22. Alligator Push-Up
Similar to the lizard push-ups, alligators have a staggered hand position but moves forward.
- Using sliders helps, but these can be done with them as well.
23. Super Pike Push-Up
Taking the pike to the next level.
- Place your feet on a bench (or wall) so that you’re hips are bent close to 90-degrees.
- Keep the head in a neutral position, and slowly lower down between the hands before pushing back to the starting position.
24. Handstand Push-Up
Is this a perfect handstand push-up? No, I won’t even pretend that it is or try to say I can do them. Clearly I have some work to do myself.
- Consider it a “Super Pike” On speed.
25. Commando Push-Up
Another favorite of mine!
- Start off on your stomach (laying on the ground)
- Push yourself up off the ground so that your thighs and chest come up at the same time (don’t roll up).
- Drive one knee in towards your chest, before lowering back down.
26. Hands Out Push-Up
Another from Date Night Dan.
- Place the hands under your shoulders and simply change the direction they are facing to pointing outward.
It’s amazing how just changing hand position can affect the push-up.
27. Push-Up Hold
- Stop and wait it out in the middle of a push-up.
- Remember to breath (it’s easy to hold your breath with stagnant moves)
- Your body will feel this exercise very very quickly.
28. Frog Push-Up
A combo of the pike push-up and plyo.
- Start on your feet, and control yourself as you fall forward into a downward dog (with knees bent).
- Perform a push-up and push through your fingers to push yourself back up to your feet.
29. All 4’s Push-Up
This is not only fun, but it’s a “what the” push-up.
- On the drive up, push off the ground from both your feet and your hands to come completely off the ground.
- Keep a tight body position, as this is easy to allow your back to arch.
30. Slider Push-Up
Carpet sliders… have you gotten a set yet? If not, just use paper towels, magazines, paper plates or wash clothes.
The perform lizard push-ups… fast.
31. Push-Up Walk
Take a step and do a push-up.
- Keep the butt down to avoid creating a “tent” position.
32. Backpack Push-Up
- Use a weighted backpack or have a spotter place a plate on your upper back to perform your push-ups.
Who said push-ups were body weight only?
33. Knuckle Push-Up
This variation is great for someone with wrist issues as it keeps the wrist straight.
But it does take some getting used to.
34. Clapping Push-Up
Got the plyo push-up down?
- Add a clap in the middle of the push-up.
- Jump and quickly clap and return hands to the ground.
Must be fast or you’ll eat the ground.
35. Uneven Dumbbell Push-Up
- Keep one hand on the handle of a weight, the other remains on the ground.
- Complete all push-ups on one side before switching to the other side.
36. Finger Tip Push-Up
This is a bonus that I can’t do. So here’s my husband demonstrating instead!
Try it and see if you have better luck than I did!
And there you have it,
35 36 push-ups!
Did you get value from this post? Check out these other exercise variations posts:
– Let me know which push-up is completely new to you!
– Which will you start off with today?
– Love or hate push-ups?
Dan has given me a challenge… to be able to perform 75 unbroken push-ups by the end of 3 weeks. I guess I’ll be sticking to “generic” in an effort to get more efficient and prove I can do it! I love them.