Push-Up Perfection: Master These 4 Awesome Variations for Strength and Tone!

Push-ups, though a seemingly simple exercise, offer numerous benefits for your body. They are an excellent way to train, strengthen, and tone your chest, deltoids, and triceps, proving particularly advantageous for women. Despite this, many avoid push-ups, finding them either too easy or too difficult. This guide demonstrates several push-up variations, helping you to get the most out of your exercise routine, regardless of your current fitness level.

A Kneeling Push-up Position

If you struggle with full push-ups, starting on your knees can help build your strength and prepare you for the full motion. Even if you can manage regular push-ups, incorporating kneeling push-ups in your routine can still be beneficial.

Place a pad or a towel under your knees for added comfort. Keep your body in a neutral position and tighten your abs slightly to tone the area while preventing your lower back from sagging. Your hands should not be behind your shoulders; a proper push-up position has your shoulders coming just forward of your thumbs. Tuck in your chin and look down at the floor to maintain a straight spine from your tailbone to your head.

Standard Kneeling Push-ups

To execute a standard kneeling push-up, inhale as you slowly lower your upper body down by bending your elbows, stopping before your chest touches the ground. Exhale as you push yourself back up by straightening your arms. Aim for multiple sets of five to ten repetitions for optimal toning results.

Shoulder Strengthening Variation

To target different parts of your shoulders, triceps, and chest, you can change your hand placement. Placing your hands farther apart (outside shoulder width) will work your shoulders more and your triceps less. If you have a shoulder injury and want to strengthen the area without extra stress, turn your hands outward. This simple adjustment can reduce pressure on the shoulder joints.

O-Shape: Range of Motion Push-ups

For those with healthy shoulder joints looking to develop a full range of motion, try the circular or O-shape push-up. This exercise is particularly beneficial for sports and activities requiring joint flexibility.

To perform an O-shape push-up, lower your upper body onto one side. Then, laterally transfer your weight to the other side while remaining in the lowered position. Push back up on the new side, returning to the starting position. For example, lower yourself down onto your left arm, shift your body horizontally over to your right arm, and use your right arm to push up to the starting position. This technique will also help strengthen elbow tendons. Begin with small circles and gradually progress to larger ones as your ability allows.


Incorporating these several variations of push-ups into your fitness routine can lead to significant health and strength improvements. Start with the kneeling position and the standard kneeling push-up, building your confidence and ability as you progress to more advanced techniques. Tailoring the exercise to suit your needs, focusing on proper form, and regularly practicing will help you achieve optimal results.