Push-ups are one of the best exercises in fitness.
They have endured the test of time as a go-to exercise because of the many push-up benefits, how simple they are to learn, and how easy they are to do anywhere—no fancy equipment or gym membership necessary.
They’re also popular because of all the simple push-up variations and progressions you can do to target different muscle groups and develop as you get stronger.
Learning how to do these useful push-up variations will help you avoid boring workouts and increase the difficulty level of your push-ups as you build strength.
Let’s push through the 8 best push-up variations…
How to do a standard push-up
Before we get into the 7 best push-up variations, you need to know how to do a standard push-up first.
If you’re not sure where to start with a regular push-up read our how to do a push-up guide before you get started with push-up variations.
Now that you know how to do a classic push-up, try these variations to find the best push-up types for your daily workout routine.
The 6 best push-up variations from easiest to hardest
The 7 best push-up variations from easiest to hardest are:
1. Wall push-up
The wall push-up is perfect for getting started with push-ups.
They’re the easiest push-up variation on this list and are great to ease into the push-up movement.
How to do a wall push-up:
1. Stand about an arms-length away from a sturdy wall
2. Place your hands on the wall with your arms parallel to the floor, extending straight out from your shoulders
3. Bend your arms to lower your shoulders, head and chest towards the wall
4. Press your hands into the wall to lift your shoulders away from the wall and repeat
2. Knee push-ups
Knee push-ups are closer to standard push-up form. The only difference is that you’re on your knees instead of your toes which makes knee push-ups a little bit easier.
How to do a knee push-up:
1. Start in a plank position and bend your knees so they’re rooted to the ground
2. Create a straight line from your ears to your shoulders and down to your knees
3. Make sure your knees are behind your pelvis
4. Bend your arms to lower your shoulders towards the floor
5. Press into the floor with your hands and raise your shoulders back up to the starting position
3. Raised hands push-ups
Raised hands push-ups take the classic push-up form and make it a bit easier by raising where your hands are rooted.
You’ll need a sturdy platform that won’t move for this type of push-up like a low windowsill, couch edge or coffee table.
How to do a raised hand push-up:
1. Anchor your hands under your shoulders on a sturdy surface like the edge of a couch
2. Raise up onto your toes so you’re in a diagonal plank position
3. Bend your arms and lower your shoulders towards your hands
4. Press your hands into your base to raise yourself back up and repeat
4. Single-leg push-ups
Single leg push-ups are more difficult than standard push-up form, so try single-leg push-ups as a more challenging push-up progression.
Single-leg push-ups are great for improving balance and targeted core strength.
How to do a single leg push-up:
1. Start in a flat plank position
2. Lift your left leg straight out behind you
3. Keep your leg lifted and bend your arms to lower your shoulders towards your hands
4. Repeat the same number of reps with your right leg extended
5. Plank push-ups
This is another push-up variety that’s great for your core and stability.
How to do a plank push-up:
1. Start in a plank position
2. Support yourself with your left hand while bending your right arm so your forearm is flat on the ground
3. Shift your weight to your right forearm and bend your left arm so both forearms are flat on the ground
4. Press your right forearm into the ground while you raise back up to your left hand
5. Press your left hand into the ground and rise back to your starting position
6. Repeat in the opposite order, starting with bending your right arm, and repeat
6. Raised feet push-ups
Raised feet push-ups are similar to the raised hands push-ups but opposite: your hands remain on the ground while you raise your feet on a sturdy surface like a couch or ledge.
Raising your feet while doing a push-up makes the movement more difficult than standard push-up form so keep that in mind as you move through this progression.
How to do a raised feet push-up:
1. Start in a plank position with your feet anchored on a sturdy elevated surface like a couch or ledge
2. Bend your arms and lower your shoulders towards your hands
3. Keep your back straight
4. Press your hands into the ground, raise yourself back up to the starting position, and repeat
Push yourself with push-up progressions
These push-up variations are everything you need to move through a simple push-up progression as you get stronger.
Remember to track your reps with a push-up counter and keep track of your progress as you go.
Add a few variations to your next workout and enjoy the feeling of some new push-up types in your routine!