Best Ways To Do Push-Ups: 5 Tips For A Great Workout, According To Fitness Experts

Most of us could use a little more exercise in some form or another.  One recent study suggests, by taking just two minutes a day to vigorously work out, you can actually increase your lifespan. Exercising definitely has its benefits.  If you’re a beginner, or just want to add some variety to your current routine, push-ups can be a great, equipment-free choice to consider. There are of course a multitude of ways to perform push-ups, so we wanted to know which were considered the best among fitness pros.

Another study found that men who can do at least 40 push-ups in one attempt, are much less likely to suffer from heart disease within the next ten years.

Push-ups, if done correctly, can work many key muscle groups quickly.  Over time, push-ups can increase your upper body strength, and benefit your core muscles too.  Plus, push-ups aren’t as intimidating as they may look. 

To reach our findings, StudyFinds compiled a list from ten expert websites, to find the five best ways to do push-ups. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

The List: Best Ways To Do Push-Ups, According To Experts

1. Standard Push-ups

As with any exercise, having the proper form is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your push-ups.  Keep in mind, “Push-ups may be hard to complete at first, even with modification.  If you cannot complete 10 to 15, start with sets of 5 or less and build from there,” suggests Healthline.

To get started, you’ll want to.. “get on the floor on all fours, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.  Don’t lock out the elbows; keep them slightly bent.  Extend your legs back so you are balanced on your hands and toes, your feet hip-width apart,” notes Verywell Fit

Man working out, doing push-ups
It’s important when doing standard push-ups not to lock your elbows before bending them to a 90-degree angle.

“Begin to bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle or less.  Elbows should be a few inches from the body so your form looks like an arrow if looking top-down,” adds Byrdie.

“Once elbows are bent to 90 degrees or chest touches floor, exhale and push through hands to press body back up.  Maintain engagement and that straight line-position,” according to Women’s Health.

2. Push-ups On Your Knees

If you’re a beginner or recovering from an injury, knee push-ups might be best while you’re building strength.  Just make sure to grab a towel and place it under your knees for a bit more comfort.

Byrdie points out, “This modification makes the push-ups easier if you’re just starting out because you’re pushing less of your body weight.”

“Your shoulder and hand placement will look just like a regular push-up (an “arrow”, not a “T”), but you’ll stabilize yourself on your knees instead of your feet,” notes Nerd Fitness.

3. Wall Push-ups 

If you don’t want to get down on the floor, here’s a push-up you can do while standing up.

“Place hands on a wall shoulder-width apart and at chest level.  Step back with both feet to where your heels are off the ground.  This is the starting position,” according to  

“Inhale as you bend your elbows and slowly move your upper body toward the wall while keeping your feet flat on the ground.  Hold this position for a second or two.  Exhale and use your arms to push your body slowly back to your starting position,” adds Healthline.

4. Incline Push-ups

Looking for a different kind of push-up?  This modification could be for you.

“Incline push-ups make the traditional move slightly easier by elevating your hands, which changes the plane you’re moving your body from.  This gives you more leverage, and lightens the load that you have to lift each time you physically push your chest up,” according to Well and Good.

Woman exercising, doing incline push-ups outside
Incline push-ups can be performed on a set of stairs and work your core and back too. (© Dirima –

While Mindbodygreen notes, “You’ll definitely feel it more in your chest compared to a normal push-up.  In addition to working the upper body, with proper form, you’ll also be working your core, back, and leg muscles, too.”

5. Diamond Push-ups

Diamond push-ups, also known as triangle push-ups, are more difficult.  Greatist places this push-up in its intermediate category, calling it the “diamond standard of triceps exercises.”

This push-up is done on the floor, with hand placement being the key element– “holding your hands together with your thumbs and forefingers touching in a way that creates a diamond-shaped hole where your hands come together,” according to The New York Times. 

“Diamond push-ups are primarily a triceps strengthener—and they’re harder than other tri moves and regular push-ups,” notes Women’s Health.   

Remember, to give time for your body to adjust to different exercises.  Take it slow, and build up as you go.


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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Melissa Kraus

Melissa is a freelance writer, based out of New Jersey. She has over two-decades of writing, editing, and producing experience for Radio, TV, and Digital Media.

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