6 ways to do a push-up (for people who can't do push-ups)

Last week on The Glow I gave you a push up tutorial, going through the basics of the standing, knee and toe push ups. Since then I’m sure you have been practicing nightly (right? RIGHT?) and will soon be ready to take on some more complex versions.

Today I’ve got six particularly fun variations for you to try. All will challenge you, some may try to break you. Don’t let them – you got this.

1. The tricep push up

No prizes for guessing which muscles this one targets. Start in knee or toe push up position with your arms tucked firmly against your body. As you press down your elbows should bend backwards and your arms should graze the sides of your body. As you press back up, push through your triceps.

2. Lateral moving push ups

These are fun and great for your core – but you really need to make sure you’re switching those deeper muscles on to protect your lower back. Start by completing a regular toe push up. When you get to the top of the movement, move your hands and feet one step to the right, keeping your core switched on throughout the movement and ensuring you don’t let your hips drop. You should land with your hands directly under your shoulders, then move onto your next rep.

3. Spiderman push ups

So I’ve only recently discovered I am able to perform these bad boys. There’s lots of hip flexion and some obliques involved in the movement. I don’t even know if I can break this one down in words, but here goes: Start in regular toe push up position, as you lower yourself towards the ground, lift one foot off the ground and bend one knee to the side, up to hip level. As you push back up, return your leg to starting position. Repeat on the other side.

4. Chest tap push up

Add some extra core work to your push up with this one. Perform a regular push up, but when you get to the top, lift one hand and tap the opposite side of your chest. Place your hand back on the ground and perform another push up, then lift the other hand and touch the opposite side of your chest again. Focus on keeping your core switched on and your hips parallel to the ground.


5. Push up with row

Another great one for your core, but this one has the added bonus of working into your back. Perform a regular push up and when you get to the top, draw one arm back in a row, squeezing the shoulder blade. Repeat with your other arm, focusing on keeping your core switched on and your hips parallel to the ground. Feel free to use some small dumbbells if you wish.

6. The plyometric push up

Also known as the ‘clap push up’, this is one of my faves – a dynamic movement, it’s great for increasing upper body power.
Start in regular toe-push up position (with a nice thick mat under your head for safety!), as you press up, push off hard enough that your hands catch some air, when you hit the floor again, move immediately into your next rep. Once you are comfortable with this movement, try adding a clap while you’re airborne.

How do you mix up your fitness routine?

This post originally appeared on Lazy Girl Fitness and has been republished here with full permission. You can also follow Jess on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

We think you’ll also enjoy:

Can’t afford to renew your gym membership? Try this instead

5 simple post-workout smoothies

12 ways to get more movement into your day (without actually exercising)

00:00 / ???