Explore these 5 Push-Up Variations to Strengthen Your Core

Below are five different types of push-up variations along with their advantages and the proper technique to execute each movement for optimal results.

Explore these 5 Push-Up Variations to Strengthen Your Core

Exercise isn’t just crucial for bodybuilding or weight loss; it’s essential for overall health. Maintaining an active lifestyle and engaging in regular physical activity can promote a healthy heart, improve mental well-being, lower the risk of diabetes, and fortify bones and muscles. Different exercises offer distinct benefits, each contributing to overall fitness when executed correctly. Among the most popular and effective exercises is the push-up, renowned for building upper body strength and reinforcing core, back, and abdominal muscles. Additionally, push-ups enhance cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of lower back injuries, promote better posture, and safeguard shoulders against injury. With its multitude of benefits, let’s explore five variations of this exercise, their proper execution, and the advantages they offer.

1. Staggered Hand Push-Ups

A more advanced variation of the push-up, the staggered hand push-up targets various muscle groups including the triceps, chest, arms, shoulders, and biceps. This exercise effectively tightens and tones the core muscles.

Staggered Hand Push-Ups

Here’s how to execute staggered hand push-ups effectively:

  • Assume a push-up position, with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
  • Move one hand backward and the other forward, creating a staggered hand position with a distance of about 12 inches between them.
  • Slowly lower your chest towards the ground by bending your elbows, ensuring they are slightly lower than the level of your bent elbows.
  • Pause for a second or two in this lowered position, then push back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully.
  • Maintain steady body alignment throughout the movement, then switch the positions of your hands and repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

2. Spiderman Push-Up

Also recognized as the side kick push-up or offset push-up, this exercise is beneficial for strengthening the core. The Spiderman push-up variation not only enhances core stability but also increases overall core strength compared to traditional push-ups. Additionally, it improves flexibility and strengthens the shoulders and biceps.

 Spiderman Push-Up

Here’s how to perform a Spiderman push-up to enhance flexibility and strengthen your core:

  • Begin in a downward dog position, also known as Adho Mukha Shvanasana in yoga, with your hands and feet on the ground and your hips raised high.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering your face towards the ground between your hands while maintaining the downward dog position.
  • As you lower, arc your head and torso upwards, allowing your hands to touch your ribs.
  • Extend your arms upward until they are straight, and simultaneously press your hips towards the ground, engaging your core muscles.
  • Return to the starting position by reversing the movement, keeping your body aligned and controlled throughout the exercise. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

3. Pike Push-Up

This push-up variation targets the shoulder muscles, aiding in the development of the overhead pushing movement and core strength. In addition to shoulders and core, it also strengthens the entire upper body.

Here’s how to perform this no-equipment exercise to develop an overhead push movement:

  • Begin in a plank position, with your hands shoulder-width apart and your legs hip-width apart. Ensure that your back is aligned in a straight line.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering your body towards the ground until your arms form a 90-degree angle and your head is close to the mat.
  • Push your body away from the mat by straightening your elbows, keeping your core engaged throughout the movement.
  • Push into the ground to return to the initial plank position.
  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form and control throughout.

4. Cross Body Push-Up

This push-up variation targets not only the chest and shoulders but also engages the abdominal and oblique muscles. Additionally, it places emphasis on the lower back and works the hip muscles.

Cross Body Push-Up

Give this cross-body push-up variation a try to engage your lower body:

Begin in a traditional push-up stance.
Lower your body towards the ground, lifting your left leg and crossing it underneath your body.
Next, lift your right leg and cross it beneath your body, ensuring your hips face the ground.

5. Clapping Push-up

The clapping push-up, a variation that boosts upper body strength, also improves core stability. This exercise is effective for enhancing upper body strength, reflexes, and shoulder mobility.

Clapping Push up

Engage in this versatile push-up variation to target and strengthen the shoulders, triceps, and chest muscles:

  • Assume a standard plank position.
  • Lower your chest until it is just below your shoulder level.
  • Pause briefly to stabilize your position.
  • Push your body upward, lifting your palms a few inches off the ground.
  • Perform a quick clap and gently return to the starting position, landing softly on your elbows in a push-up stance.