Different Kinds of Push-Ups

Push-ups are an essential part of any core-building exercise routine, and just about anyone can do them, even without access to a gym or expensive equipment. This simple exercise works the triceps and also the pectoral and deltoid muscles. Although there are push-up forms for advanced exercisers, many other forms simple for beginners.


Wall push-ups are a good way for beginners to start building the muscles necessary for advanced push-ups. The farther you stand from the wall, the more resistance your body will have as you push off the wall. Wall push-ups remove a large portion of the weight and stress that is placed on the wrists and muscles in a typical push-up on the ground, making them a feasible exercise for anyone, including seniors.


Knee push-ups employ your knees as extra support as you lift your body off the ground. This exercise provides more resistance than a wall push-up but still provides less stress on the body and requires less muscle than traditional push-ups. Knee push-ups allow you to continue to build muscle strength until you can graduate to a full push-up.


Traditional push-ups are the most commonly used form. Traditional form involves placing the majority of your weight on the palms and toes, with your palms about shoulder-width apart. Lower your body to the floor until your chest almost touches, then push back up.


For the wide push-up, your hands are placed much farther apart. This distributes more weight onto the chest, isolating and working the chest muscles more than the triceps and abdominals.


Close push-ups offer another common alteration. The hands are placed close together, nearly touching each other directly below your chest. This palm placement distributes more weight on the triceps, working them harder than the chest and abdominals.


Push-up variations target different muscles or increase the intensity of the workout. For example, you can include planks, barbell push-ups, walking push-ups and plyometric push-ups to challenge yourself and alter your daily exercise routine.

About this Author

Chris Sherwood is a professional freelance journalist who specializes in health and fitness, diseases, medical and health research, and drug and alcohol effects research. Sherwood is currently finishing his degree in health care policy and administration with an emphasis on hospital administration.