On The Go Fitness

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5 Progressive Variations For Push-Ups

Push-ups. An exercise that is commonly practiced, yet it is commonly done incorrectly in an unsafe and ineffective manner. Poor posture from daily activities and lack of knowledge of doing them. I am here to provide simple, step-by-step progressions to be able to perform push-ups in a safe and effective manner.

            The key points to keep in mind while performing all variations of push-ups:

·       Feet: On your toes, pointing straight

·       Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward

·       Neck/Head: Also neutral. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

·       Elbows: ‘Tucked in’ as in pointing behind you instead of flaring outwards (pointing on the sides)

·       Hands: Flat on the ground, underneath your shoulders, shoulder width apart from each other, and fingers spread out. Keep your weight on the entire hand and not just your wrist.

·       Starting: After you found your ideal starting position, keep your core braced and push your body off the ground while keeping a neutral spine and extending (straightening) your elbows.

·       Finish: Keep your core braced, maintain a neutral spine, and bend your elbows to about 90 degrees. Repeat.


Here are the 5 push-up variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:

1.     Wall Push-Up

a.     If you have never done a push-up or have trouble doing one, start here.

2.     Incline Push-Up

a.     When Wall Push-Ups become too easy, find a stable area in a decline where you can perform your push-ups.

3.     Knee Push-Up:

a.     Finding an area that can support your knees helps with doing these properly and without discomfort. 

4.     Standard Push-Up:

a.     Placing a dowel rod or PVC pipe (not shown) while doing these help with alignment awareness.

5.     Plyometric Push-Up:

a.     A more advanced push-up that should only be done when you have the proper stability, strength, and power to do so. 

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!


Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness