There is a huge amount of different push up variations and goals that you can set as a bodyweight athlete.
Just by seeing the list below you will understand that only the sky is the limit in regards to bodyweight skills and strength.
I tried to include every push up variation I know in order to make a really complete list. Some combinations of the following are not going to be stated directly and neither the progressions that lead towards these exercises.
Before moving on, make sure to also check out:
With that said…
Let’s dive right into the exercises.
Regular Type Push Ups
These push ups require the use of both arms and generally they are easier than the rest ones.
#1: Regular Push up
This is the most simple and common way of performing push ups.
#2: Diamond Push ups
Diamond push ups are an excellent progression to the regular push up.
They are more difficult on the triceps and they can help you progress towards the one arm push up. They are just like the regular push ups, but instead, your hands are closer (fingers touching) forming a diamond.
#3: Triceps Extension Push Up
As the name states, these push ups are excellent for triceps development. You can increase their difficulty by performing them on an elevated surface (eg. a bench) that allows more range of motion.
#4: Pseudo Planche Push ups
This is another excellent progression to the regular push ups. These can help you progress towards the full planche push ups.
Bodyweight exercises are all about leverage. If you want to increase the difficulty you just have to decrease the leverage.
#5: LaLanne Push ups
This variation is much more difficult than it seems. Just a few of these will leave your core begging for mercy. Similar to the pseudo planche, but now you decrease the leverage by placing your hands more forward.
#6: Wide Push ups
This variation targets the chest and shoulders more. However, they are not so difficult as the range of motion decreases.
#7: Staggered Push ups
This is an excellent variation to add to your routines from time to time. You can even move on to the plyometric version of it by alternating the hand position in every rep.
#8: Bridge Push ups
The bridge push ups are excellent for the posterior chain. They will also help you increase your shoulder mobility and strength. Excellent for core training as well.
#9: Spiderman Push Ups
This is an excellent progression to help you develop coordination and challenge your core.
In every rep, you are going to bring the knee to the elbow while in the bottom position alternating legs in each rep.
#10: Dorsal Push Ups
This is very good for building a resilient body, but you will have to be extremely careful when performing these and progress towards them gradually.
#11: Handstand Push ups
This is one of the best exercises for developing overhead pushing strength and power. Progress towards them by practicing pike push ups. Aim for the full range of motion.
Some don’t consider dips to be a push up variation, but I thing they are since you are pushing yourself up. This is one of the best exercises for triceps development.
#13: Scorpion Push ups
This is an awesome movement and it can take a while to master it.
Like the spiderman push up, this one requires moving to move the legs during the pushing motion. Now instead of bringing the leg to the knee, you will move it above and across your back to the other side.
This movement can help you as a progression to the one arm push up.
#14: Hindu Push ups & Dive-bomber
The Hindu push ups have been used throughout the centuries by Hindu wrestlers for the simple reason that they WORK!
You can practice both variations (Hindu and dive-bombers). Be mindful on your form and maintain a fluidity in your movement. In the dive-bomber, you are pushing yourself back to the starting position alternating the movement.
#15: Crucifix Push ups
This is even wider than the wide push up. This variation is going to challenge more the biceps, shoulders and chest.
Explosive Push Ups
#16: Clap Push ups
This is one of the most common plyometric push up variation. It’s is similar to the regular push up, but instead of stopping to the top position, you generate more power to go beyond it and leave the ground.
#17: Behind-the-back clap Push ups & Multiple Claps Push ups
The next progression of the clapping push ups can be the behind-the-back clap push up. I have written an extensive training guide on how to achieve this skill here:
I have written an extensive training guide on how to achieve this skill here:
#18: Aztec Push Ups
This is a very intimidating exercise! It requires lots of explosive core strength and coordination.
#19: Rotation or 360 Push Ups
This is even more intimidating than the Aztec push up, since your eyes will have to leave the ground and you are turning your back to the ground as well.
Do not try this on a hard surface!
#20: Explosive Planche Push ups
This is an extraordinary push up!
#21: Clapping Handstand Push ups
Another tremendous and intimidating exercise, this will require lots of strength, balance and skill.
#22: Clapping One Arm Push ups
This is an explosive progression of the one arm push up.
This movement is going to challenge your chest, triceps and core.
#23: Push Up Wheels
An excellent variation to increase your shoulder mobility, your coordination and agility.
Advanced Push Ups
#24: Plance Push ups
This is one of the most difficult variations. It is kind of impossible to describe this movement to people who have never seen it before.
#25: One Arm Push ups
This is a really good push up progression. It requires lots of core and triceps strength.
For a complete training plan on how to achieve this, check out this post:
#26: Gecko Push ups (One Arm One Leg)
This is one of the progressions you can follow after you have mastered one arm push ups. Even if the weight is the same, it requires far more balance and coordination.
#27: One Arm Handstand Push ups
The ultimate bodyweight challenge. This move has been doubted by many as impossible. This is the pinnacle of bodyweight strength. No one has ever recorded a complete execution of this move.
For a complete training plan and a progression guide, check out Convict Conditioning*.
#28: One Arm Hindu Push ups
Another beautiful variation. Like the regular Hindu push up, you should be able to perform the movement with fluidity and control.
#29: One arm LaLanne Push ups
#30: 90 Degree Push ups
#31: Pistol Push ups
A very creative variation that will challenge your whole body.
#32: Typewriter And Archer Push ups
#33: Tiger Bend Handstand Push ups
After you have mastered the HSPU you can move toward the tiger bend variation.
This will challenge the triceps, a LOT.
I have covered some of this in the Wrist Conditioning post. These can help you build more resilient hands and prepare you for the harder variations.
A non-definite list includes:
Of course, there are still more but most of them come from combinations of the above. I included some combinations as well in the explosive ones, just so you see that these type of movements are possible and already achieved. The only move not yet achieved (haven’t seen any video) is, as I mentioned before, the one arm HSPU.
For a tutorial on the one arm handstand push up, check out Convict Conditioning*.
So this is the list of all the push ups variations that I am aware of.
If you know any more variations feel free to post it in the comments below and I will include it in my post.
Photo: push ups – no changes were made to the image
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