Even if you're new to fitness, you can master a modified knee push-up in no time, gradually working your way to a standard push-up. And whether you're a beginner or an expert, most push-up variations can be performed on either the knees or the toes.
Basic push-up form
When performing a push-up, it's important to keep your core tightened and your body as straight as possible. Avoid sticking your butt into the air or allowing your lower back to sway. You want to keep your neck aligned with your spine.
Lower your upper body to the ground before pressing back to the starting position. At the top of the movement, avoid locking your elbows.
A great exercise for beginners, the knee push-up works your upper body and core just like a standard push-up, but requires less upper-body and core strength.
The incline push-up is another modification that works well for beginners. While I'm showing the exercise using a Lebert Equalizer bar, you can use a wall, bench or sturdy chair.
The stability ball push-up adds an element of balance to the exercise, requiring more core engagement. The closer the ball is to your knees, the easier the exercise will be.
Like the stability ball push-up, the BOSU ball push-up requires additional core engagement to maintain proper form. Feel free to drop your knees to the floor to make the exercise easier.
The split push-up requires you to shift your weight to one side, targeting one side of your chest more than the other. While I used a medicine ball to demonstrate this exercise, feel free to use a step, bench or other raised surface to achieve the same result.
The plyometric push-up, or plyo push-up, enhances upper-body power and strength. Start on your knees; as your strength increases, try the exercise while balanced on your toes.
Work your upper body, obliques and hips with this more advanced push-up move.
The scorpion push-up works your glutes and hips, requiring more core engagement throughout the push-up.
Push-up jacks require core engagement and lower-body power in addition to upper-body strength.
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