If you want to build muscle and strength, this article will show you easy push-up variations for beginners you can start doing today.
Push-ups are great for building and strengthening your arms, shoulders, core, and chest muscles.
Unfortunately, many people don’t enjoy the benefits of push-ups due to a lack of strength. That won’t be you anymore!
The push-up variations below will build your upper body strength and allow you to do exercises you never thought possible.
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I’ve arranged the exercises in order of difficulty, starting with the easier ones.
Advance to the next push-up variation once you can do 10 reps. Remember to maintain proper form while doing these exercises.
30 Push-Up Variations for Beginners
1. Wall Push-Ups
Wall push-ups are the easiest push-up variation. Simply stand a few steps away from a wall, place your hands on the wall, and do push-ups from that position.
Note that standing farther from the wall makes the exercise more challenging. While standing closer makes the exercise easier.
2. Wall Push-Offs
This plyometric exercise is great for strengthening your arms. Doing a few reps will get you sweating.
Increase the intensity of the exercise in order to get the most out of it.
3. One-arm Wall Push-Up
If you thought the one-arm push-up was impossible for you, this exercise will convince you otherwise. Doing one arm-push wall push-ups will build the strength you need to do one-arm push-ups on the floor.
Feel free to skip this exercise if you find it challenging. The variations below are more rewarding since they engage more muscles.
4. Incline Push-Ups
Incline push-ups make you realize that the classic push up is not that hard after all. Placing your hands on an elevated platform makes push-ups easier since you’re pushing less weight.
A higher platform makes the exercise easier while a low one increases difficulty.
5. Knee Push-Ups
Many beginners are familiar with knee push-ups. However, most people don’t perform this exercise properly.
Avoid lifting your butt when doing knee push-ups. Keep your shoulders, hips, and knees aligned in a straight line.
6. Knee Diamond Push-Ups
You may wonder why you need to do these two variations of knee push-ups. Well, the diamond knee push-ups activate your triceps.
This is true for all push-ups variations. Keeping your hands close while doing push-ups increases triceps activation.
7. Negative Push-Ups
After this exercise, you’ll be able to do the classic push-ups.
Remember to control your motion when pressing down. Avoid letting yourself fall down to the floor without any resistance.
8. Classic Push-Ups
Congratulations! If you’ve done all the variations above, you should be able to do the classic push-ups.
But don’t stop there. Advance to the push-up variations below to keep your workouts fun and challenging.
Don’t make the mistake of sinking your hips while doing push-ups. Tightening your ab and butt muscles will help keep your body aligned in a straight line.
9. Close Grip Push-Ups
The close grip push-ups primarily activate your triceps and chest muscles. Keep your hands narrower than shoulder-width.
10. Hand Tap Push-Ups
This exercise will improve your shoulder stability since you have to support your body with one arm.
Make sure your palms are directly below your shoulders to avoid straining the shoulder.
11. Diamond Push-Ups
When done properly, diamond push-ups can be extremely rewarding. They will build your triceps and as a result, make your arms look toned and bigger.
Don’t skip diamond push-ups if you’re a woman. They won’t make your arms bulky. They’ll make them firmer and toned, which I’d guess is what you want.
12. Wide Grip Push Ups
The wide grip variation is great for building your shoulder and chest muscles. Simply keep your arms wider than shoulder-width and do push-ups from that position.
Note that a grip that’s too wide will reduce your range of motion and make the exercise less rewarding.
13. Push-Ups with Shoulder Tap
Do you want to improve your coordination as you strengthen your upper body? Then you need to do push-ups with shoulder tap.
This push-up variation also forces you to support your body with one arm, which increases arm and shoulder strength.
14. Push-Ups with Mountain Climbers
Combine push-ups with mountain climbers if you want great core activation. Do one rep of mountain climbers after each push-up.
Avoid curving your back when doing mountain climbers.
15. Push-Ups with Leg Raised
Doing push ups with leg raised increases resistance, which makes the exercise more effective.
Complete reps for one leg before raising the opposite leg.
16. Alternating Push-Up Leg Raise
This push-up variation is a bit challenging than the one above since it requires more coordination.
You may also be happy to know that this exercise activates the glute and lower back muscles.
17. Rotational Push-Ups
Also known as, the T push up, this exercise activates your oblique (side ab) muscles. Other than toning your oblique muscles, it’ll also stabilize your shoulders.
You can make it easier by doing the rotating movement without the push-ups.
18. Pike Push-Ups
If you want to build your trapezius muscles, pike push ups should be part of your routine.
You may also want to focus on this push-up variation if you want to build the strength needed to perform handstand push-ups.
19. Decline Push-Ups
Placing your feet on an elevated platform increases the amount of weight you’re pushing.
Decline push ups are one of the few bodyweight exercises that build upper chest muscles.
20. Push-Up Jacks
This push-up variation will increase core activation since you have to keep your ab muscles tight all the time to prevent your hips from sinking as your legs bounce on the floor.
Push-up jacks also help build coordination.
21. Push-Ups with Dumbbell Rows
If you have a pair of dumbbells, incorporate them into your workout.
Doing dumbbell rows after every push-up will activate your latissimus dorsi muscles.
This exercise increases your arm and wrist strength.
22. Semi Planche Push-Ups
This exercise activates the shoulders and triceps muscles. It’s also a progression exercise to the planche, which is one of the most challenging bodyweight exercises.
Make sure your palms are positioned well before doing this exercise. Poor arm positioning can lead to discomfort or injuries.
23. Side-to-Side Push-Ups
This push-up variation will improve your arm strength, which will enable you to perform unilateral arm exercises such as the one-arm push-up.
Control your motion when doing the side-to-side push-ups.
24. Spiderman (Knee to Elbow) Push-Ups
Do this exercise regularly to increase your upper body strength and activate your oblique muscles.
Don’t give up if you can’t get this exercise right the first time you try it. After a few reps, you’ll get the flow.
25. Hindu Push-Ups
This is one of the most effective push-up variations. It activates all the upper body muscles, including the trapezius.
26. Dive Bomber Push-Ups
This push-up variation is very similar to hindu push-ups. However, it’s more challenging because you have to reverse the forward movement to get back to starting position, while in hindu push-ups, you simply extend your arms back.
Once you can do 10 dive bomber push-ups, consider yourself a push-ups warrior.
27. Half Burpee Push-Ups
The word burpee terrifies some people but this variation is less challenging than the classic burpee.
With that said, burpees are one of the best full body exercises and you should to them regularly if you want to take your workouts to the next level.
Here’s how to get fit using burpees alone.
28. Power Push Offs
Increase the intensity of your workouts by doing power push offs. Master this push-up variation before attempting the clap push-ups.
29. Clap Push-Ups
This is one of the best push-up variations for building strength, speed, coordination, and explosiveness.
Perform this exercise on a comfortable surface to reduce the impact on your joints as your hands land on the floor.
30. One Arm Push-Ups
You should be able to do the one arm push ups if you’ve done at least 10 reps off all the push-up variations above.
I’m also willing to bet you’ll have the strength to perform handstand push-ups and other challenging push-up variations.
Now, doing push-ups alone may lead to muscle imbalances. You need a routine that targets all muscle groups.
That’s why you need to subscribe to my home workout plan and will send you free workouts to your inbox every day.