10 Powerful Push Up Variations to Increase Upper Body Strength


When it comes to building upper body strength, push-ups are a classic and effective exercise. Not only do they work the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but push-ups also engage the core and improve overall stability. While the standard push-up is a great exercise on its own, there are several variations that can take your upper body strength to the next level. In this article, we will explore 10 powerful push-up variations that will challenge your muscles and help you achieve a stronger upper body.

  1. Wide Grip Push-Up

The wide grip push-up is a variation that targets the chest muscles even more effectively than the standard push-up. To perform it, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. This wider hand placement engages the chest muscles to a greater extent, providing a more intense workout.

  1. Diamond Push-Up

The diamond push-up, also known as the triangle push-up, places more emphasis on the triceps. To perform this variation, form a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs, placing your hands directly beneath your chest. As you lower yourself down, keep your elbows close to your body. This variation targets the triceps and helps develop strong, defined arms.

  1. Incline Push-Up

The incline push-up is a great variation for beginners or individuals who struggle with standard push-ups. To perform an incline push-up, place your hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step. By reducing the amount of bodyweight you have to push, this variation allows you to build strength gradually while maintaining proper form.

  1. Decline Push-Up

The decline push-up is the opposite of the incline push-up and targets the upper chest muscles. To perform this variation, place your feet on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step, with your hands on the ground. This angled position places more resistance on the chest, providing a challenging workout for the upper body.

  1. One-Arm Push-Up

The one-arm push-up is an advanced variation that requires significant upper body strength and stability. To perform this challenging exercise, place one hand behind your back and perform a push-up with the other arm. The one-arm push-up not only builds strength but also enhances core stability and balance.

  1. Plyometric Push-Up

The plyometric push-up involves explosive movements that increase power and speed. To perform this variation, lower yourself down into a push-up position and then explosively push yourself off the ground, aiming to lift your hands off the floor. This dynamic movement engages fast-twitch muscle fibers, improving overall upper body explosiveness.

  1. Spiderman Push-Up

The Spiderman push-up is a variation that challenges the core and targets the oblique muscles. To perform this exercise, start in a regular push-up position. As you lower yourself down, bring one knee towards your corresponding elbow, alternating sides with each repetition. This variation provides an excellent workout for the upper body and core.

  1. T Push-Up

The T push-up is a variation that targets the shoulders and engages the core. Start in a standard push-up position and perform a push-up. As you reach the top of the movement, rotate your body to the side, lifting one arm straight up towards the ceiling. This movement opens up the chest and shoulders while challenging the core muscles.

  1. Clapping Push-Up

The clapping push-up is an advanced variation that requires explosive power and quick reaction time. Begin in a regular push-up position and, as you push yourself off the ground, forcefully clap your hands together before landing back in the starting position. This variation not only builds upper body strength but also enhances coordination and agility.

  1. Archer Push-Up

The archer push-up is a challenging variation that targets one side of the chest at a time. Assume a regular push-up position, but instead of lowering straight down, shift your weight to one side and lower your body accordingly, keeping the opposite arm extended and straight. By focusing on one side at a time, the archer push-up helps correct muscle imbalances and improves overall upper body strength.


Incorporating these 10 powerful push-up variations into your workout routine can help you increase your upper body strength and take your fitness to new heights. Remember to start with variations suitable for your fitness level and gradually progress as your strength improves. So, lace up your sneakers, get down on the mat, and let these push-up variations transform your upper body strength. Your mind and body will thank you for the challenge and progress you’ll make on your fitness journey. Keep pushing up!