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Top 6 Push Ups for a shredded and rock solid upper body!!

Updated on December 8, 2013
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Get Ripped!

Push Ups

Push ups are one of those exercises that everyone thinks are over rated, However there is a reason that they are STILL one of the best exercises to do to maintain and increase upper body strength.

Push ups train the Deltoid, Pectoral, and the Tricep muscles.

One, if not the best thing, about doing push ups. Is that they require no equipment at all, and can be done almost anywhere.

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Beginner Quick Tips;

- If you are just starting out, grab a yoga mat to reduce strain on your wrists.

- Grab a mirror that you can see yourself in, to check your form while you perform various push ups and even other exercises!

- Remember to take it easy and not to overdo it for the first few days, and to take breaks!

Military Style Push up
Military Style Push up

Push Ups: How to?

There are a few different types of push ups, we will go over them all. ALL of which are great for building your upper body strength, practice them all!

The Military Pushup

1.) Assume a face down position and lay on the floor. Keeping your feet together. Your weight should be on your chest.

2.) Place your hands shoulder width appart, palms flat on the floor. Your elbows at this point should be pointing towards your toes, and your hands should be near your shoulders.

- If you are performing pushups on a surface where you won't harm yourself, you can use your fists in this position. Keeping your fists clenched in the same position as your hands.

3.) Curl your toes upwards / forwards. Your toes and the balls of your feet should be touching the ground. (I personally prefer to do pushups with shoes on, I find it easier on my feet.)

4.) At this time you should raise yourself into the air using your arms. Your weight should be supported by your hands and your recently curled toes and balls of your feet.

5.) At this point, make sure your back, legs and head form a straight line. This is commonly referred to as planking. The position you are in now, is the ending position of a pushup, and the beginning.

6.) Lower your body to the ground, and form a 45 degree angle with your arms. Your chest should be approximately 4 inches from the ground, and then lift your body back up into the planking position.

A rule of thumb for doing pushups, is that the closer your hands are together, the more you will use your tricep muscles. The further apart your hands are positioned, the more you will engage and use your chest muscles.

One Arm Push Up
One Arm Push Up

The One-Arm Pushup

To perform a One Arm Pushup, follow steps 1-6 of the Military style pushups with the following alterations.

1.) Spread your legs further apart for more balance.

2.) Remove one arm from the equation, I prefer to place my arm onto the small / lower portion of my back.

3.) Place the hand you will be performing the pushups with almost directly in the center of your chest on the floor, palm flat.

One arm push ups are the beasts of the push up family. They are the, if not one of the hardest pushup for most people to perform. The one handed pushup greatly increases chest, tricep as well as your stabalizer muscles. If you can accomplish a one armed push up, then you have something to show off to your friends, because I can almost guarentee that they can't do them!

Diamond Push Up
Diamond Push Up
Diamond Push Up
Diamond Push Up

The Diamond Push Up

To Perform a diamond push up, follow steps 1-4 on "The Military Pushup"

5.) Place your hands palm down on the floor, and use your index finger and thumb on both hands, placing them together to create a diamond shape.

6.) Slowly lower yourself to the ground, just as you would on a military style pushup, and raise yourself back up to plank position.

Diamond push ups can prove to be tough, but if you train enough and these become easier and easier to do, then pretty much any and all push ups will become much easier for you. Diamond push ups put more stress on your upper body muscles, like your chest and triceps, the diamond push ups also work your core.

Clap Push Up
Clap Push Up

The Clap Push Up

To perform the clap pushup, follow steps 1-5 on "The Military Pushup".

6.) Lower your body to the ground slowly, and form a 45 degree angle with your arms. At this time, you will need to exert enough force to push yourself into the air and clap, then place your hands back onto the floor before falling.

Note: The clap pushups are very hard to do, and are not reccommended for someone who is new to pushups. The chance of hurting yourself is somewhat high, if you do not push your body high enough into the air, or finish your clap, you will fall on your face, quite literally.

Spiderman Push Up
Spiderman Push Up

The Spiderman Push Up

To perform a Spiderman Pushup, follow steps 1-5 of the Military style pushup;

6.) After you have finished lowering yourself to the ground, at this time you will lift one leg off of the floor and pull your knee forward and to the side as far as you can towards your shoulder. If done correctly, this will engage your bodies core and train that as well, while training your upper body. The best way to do this is to alternate between legs, however you can do sets per leg if you wish.

When push ups become easy for you, use the Spiderman to increase difficulty and increase your core workout!

Scorpion Push Up
Scorpion Push Up

The Scorpion Push Up

To perform a Scorpion Pushup, follow steps 1-5 of the Military style pushup;

6.) As you finish lowering yourself down to the ground, begin to raise one leg off of the floor, and bend your knee towards your back and a little to the side. The best way to do this is to alternate between legs, however you can do sets per leg if you wish.

When push ups become easy for you, use the Scorpion to increase difficulty and increase your core workout!

Find all of your nutritional and bodybuilding information here at!


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    • profile image

      Holly Bailey 

      6 years ago

      I'm going to school to be a paramedic and I have ZERO upper body strength. What would you recommend for someone starting out at a kindergarten level?

    • Mackinreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for the feedback I'm glad you found it an interesting read!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      6 years ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      I find this interesting to read.

    • Mackinreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for commenting! Definitely give them a try, always fun to do! :)

    • kidscrafts profile image


      6 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I didn't know that you could do so many different kinds...but why not! I will start with the "easy" ones! I definitely have to gain strength with my shoulders!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Mackinreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for the comments! Scorpion and one arm are rough lol

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      great post. Reminded me of my days in the Air Force

    • greatstuff profile image


      6 years ago from Malaysia

      I have done all except the scorpion and the one arm, which I don't think I can for a long while!! Voted useful and Shared


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