Various Types Of Pushups

Everyone knows how to do a basic, two-handed push-up, but there are several other ways to do a push-up. We’re going to share a few popular variations on the push-up. Each of these offer different benefits and isolate different muscles.

As a general rule, push-ups that are significantly challenging (and thus hard to achieve more than just a couple repetitions) are more suited for those looking to gain mass. Anyone looking to trim themselves down, or increase their lean muscles mass should stick to push-ups that allow for a higher number of repetitions.

There’s a reason the basic push-up is, well, the “basic” push-up: it’s safe, effective, and easy-to-learn. Some of the push-ups we’ll mention in this article are quite challenging. It’s important to always take stock of your fitness level. Some of these push-ups aren’t capable of being completed by everyone. Be aware that injury can occur when one is attempting a push-up beyond the scope of their fitness level.

Fist Push-Ups

As the title might suggest, fist push-ups are done with your knuckles as opposed to the palm of your hand. Physically, these push-ups differ from a basic push-up in that there is less surface area on which to distribute your upper body weight. In other words, the knuckles are smaller than the palms. With less surface area shouldering the weight of your body, the chest, shoulders, and triceps will have their work cut out for them. In general, most people can only do about 75% of the number of fist push-ups as they otherwise might normally achieve through regular push-ups.

One-Handed Push-Up

This is perhaps the most challenging push-up one could attempt. Quite simply, place one hand directly below your chest. The other hand should be placed across the small of your back to help balance the body. From there, lower yourself down and breathe out as you push up. It is important to note that this push-up places a significant strain on the elbow, so use your head and keep things reasonable if you attempt a one-handed push-up.

Pyramid Push-Up

These push-ups are also commonly referred to as “closed-grip push-ups”. While in a normal push-up position, bring your hands together and make a diamond with your thumbs and index fingers. These push-ups are harder than a basic push-up, but still quite achievable. By bringing your hands together, you place more emphasis on the triceps to complete the exercise. This, in addition to “dips”, are a great way to isolate the triceps without needing assistance from weights or machinery.

Wiide Push-Up

The opposite of pyramid push-ups, wide push-ups require you to spread your hands far apart. This takes pressure off of the triceps and forces your chest and shoulders to bear a heavier load to complete the movement. A wide push-up stance reduces the range of motion you will achieve during the exercise. Depending on how wide your position, it may be impossible to push yourself more than just a couple of feet off the ground.

Rocky Push-Up

I forget if it was the first Rocky movie, or Rocky IV (where he fights the Russian) in which Sylvester Stallone made famous the “Rocky push-up”. This is a very challenging push-up that should not even be attempted by anyone but those of the utmost fitness level. The Rocky push-up is essentially nothing but one-handed push-ups with one little twist: you change hands after each repetition without taking weight off of your toes. So on the upward motion of this push-up, it is important to launch yourself into the air enough to take the hand that did the push-up and place it on the small of your back, and to take the hand that was on the small of your back and place it into position to do the heavy work for the next repetition. This is almost impossible to achieve without a very wide foot stance. By spreading your feet 2-3 feet apart, the body is more balanced and thus capable of enduring the chaotic movements of the upper body. Truthfully, this push-up is more useful as a stunt than it is as an exercise.