8 Best Push-Ups for a Bigger Chest

Athletic man doing a Push-up.

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, 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.

A man doing push-ups

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

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

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

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 or…you know what will happen.

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.

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!



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 »