Upper Body Workouts: 8 Best Push-Ups for Bigger Chest Muscles

It’s hard not to think of push-ups when we think of training with your own body weight. And for good reason. The push-up is one of the most effective bodyweight exercises. It not only works your chest muscles, but also your triceps and your deltoids. Plus, it strengthens your entire core. And to a certain extent, it even works your glutes, quads and small stabilizing muscles in your upper back.

An additional benefit is that you can do this exercise anytime, anywhere. You don’t need a gym to effectively train your chest muscles.

How to do push-ups right:

  • Place your hands directly below your shoulders
  • Keep your head, back and buttocks in a straight line
  • Extend your legs so the weight is on your toes
  • Engage your core and glutes
  • Pull your shoulder blades down and back
  • Lower your body in a controlled manner until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle
  • Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body

Tip:

You can see videos of all the individual exercises, including push-ups, in the adidas Training app under the “Workouts” tab. You’ll see the best way to do push-ups if you want to strengthen your chest muscles. 

Have you mastered push-ups? Ready to take it to the next level? Then try out these eight challenging push-up variations for a tough chest workout:

1. Clap Push-up

Athletic man doing Clap Push-ups

Be sure to land with soft elbows after the clap! And, as always, a lot of core control is crucial to performing this push-up variation correctly. Don’t be afraid to start out on your knees or on an incline to get the hang of the timing.

2. Stagger Plyo Push-up

Athletic man doing Stagger Plyo Push-ups.

Switch the position of your hands after every push-up. If this movement is too explosive or challenging for you. Simply switch your hands without the “jump” until you’re able to work your way up.

3. X-tap Push-up

Athletic man doing X-tap Push-ups

Keep in mind you really have to get some air in this push-up variation! Let’s say this is the next step after the clap push-up!

4. Double Knee Tap Push-up

Athletic man doing Double Knee Tap Push-ups

Don’t forget to engage your lower abs and lift your butt up while pulling your knees in.

5. Clap Behind Push-up

Athletic man doing Clap Behind Push-ups.

This variation does require some shoulder mobility and flexibility. Be sure to really warm-up your shoulders before trying this out. A good warm-up exercise would be plank to down dog.

6. Superman Push-up

Athletic man doing Superman Push-ups.

Try to get your biceps by your ears when reaching your arms out. And don’t forget to bring your hands back down.

7. Archer Push-up

Athletic man doing Archer Push-ups.

Place your arms wider than shoulder width when performing this push-up variation. Notice that only one arm is bending during the exercise. The other arm should have a slight bend in the elbow but be fairly straight.

8. One-Arm Push-up

Athletic man doing Archer Push-ups.

Notice that the feet are placed very wide. This really helps with stabilization of the whole body when you do this chest workout.

Do these look a bit too challenging? Try your best! Start with the classic push-up and really master the form. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be doing more difficult push-up variations in no time!

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Herwig Natmessnig

As a former professional athlete (whitewater slalom), Herwig lives for fitness. Whether in competition or just for fun, he can never turn down a challenge. View all posts by Herwig Natmessnig »