10 Best Push-Up Variations to Gain Muscle and Strength!

Very few bodyweight exercises are as effective as Push-Ups in terms of strengthening and gaining muscle mass in your chest, shoulders and arms especially triceps. If you are one of them who love performing Push-Ups and already has mastered the standard version of this effective bodyweight exercise then it is time to use other more effective and challenging variations of Push-Up which will help you to gain more strength as well as target specific muscle groups in order to make them grow faster. Without further ado, let’s know what are those 10 best Push-Up variations that you should try and add in your workout routine to gain more muscle and strength!

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Weighted Push-Up

If you have mastered the standard Push-Up then why don’t you try Push-Ups with some weights on your back? It makes those standard Push-Ups more challenging and moreover, it will create more tension on your muscles to make them stronger and bigger. Start with a 10lbs plate. Take the plate, put it on your back and then perform Push-Up.

In that way, you can push more weight and gain more strength and muscle on your chest, triceps and shoulders. You can add more weight according to your need. So, it is just a simple way to make Push-Ups challenging but it is surely one of the best Push-Up variations to implement in your workout routine for greater strength and muscle gain. Moreover, you can use weights on any other Push-Up variations (which we have discussed below) to make them even more difficult!

Wide Grip Push-Up

Wide grip Push-Up is one of the best Push-Up variations because it can primarily target your chest to make them stronger and muscular as you have to place your hands wider than standard Push-Up version. It is little harder to do than standard Push-Up but once you become habituated then you can easily perform this one to focus more on your chest.

Diamond Push-Up

Along with wide grip Push-Up, diamond Push-Up is one of the most popular and best Push-Up variations and the reason is very simple. It helps to target your triceps excellently. If you want big, stronger and muscular triceps then diamond Push-Up is great for it.

It actually may seem a lot harder to perform diamond Push-Up for the first time because you have to place both your palms to make a diamond shape in the floor then push all your bodyweight in that position. Yea, it won’t be easy for a first few times but it’s sure worth a try because once you will have the strength to perform it well then you will get an outstanding triceps exercise to make your triceps bigger, stronger and muscular.

Decline Push-Up

Decline Push-Up is when you keep your feet elevated on a high place and perform Push-Up on the floor. It is certainly an excellent Push-Up variation because not only it is challenging to perform Push-Up in this position but also it targets your upper chest and front deltoids pretty well. So, decline Push-Up is a great challenging exercise and undoubtedly one of the best Push-Up variations if you want to be stronger as well as target your shoulders and upper chest with the Push-Up.

Pike Push-Up

This is quite an interesting variation of Push-Up which may not look like a Push-Up but it actually is a variation of Push-Up. It is one of those rarest yet one of the best Push-Up variations that don’t target the chest. Yes, you have read right! Pike Push-Up doesn’t target the chest primarily. It mainly targets your deltoids & traps which means your overall shoulder muscles and it also targets your triceps.

These are the primary muscles targeted by this variation. Chest is also targeted secondarily but very slightly and kind of non-existent. So, if you want to target your shoulders and triceps specifically then there is no better Push-Up variation than Pike Push-Up. Just make sure, your form is correct because performing Pike Push-Up with a proper form is could be tough challenge initially.

Spider-Man Push-Up

Spider-Man Push-Up is the one Push-Up variation where your abdominal muscles activate most as you have to bring your one leg up to the side and perform the Push-Ups. The key is, try to touch the elbow with the knee when you are bringing your one leg so that you can target your core at the best way possible. But what makes this exercise one of the best Push-Up variations? Well, firstly, it’s a great core developing exercise that helps your core muscles like abdominal and oblique muscles strong and muscular.

Secondly, it puts pretty good pressure on your forearms as well as triceps because of the position of this Push-Up. Moreover, your chest will also be targeted with Spider-Man Push-Up. I know, it’s not an easy exercise to perform when you have to use your one leg to support your Push-Ups but it is a great strength building as well as abs building exercise if you perform it well. Just make sure, you’re doing it with right form on both sides.

Planche Lean Push-Up

If you want to focus your Abdominal muscles more than your other muscles with the help of Push-Ups then this one is for you. Unlike Spider-Man Push-Up, Planche Lean Push-Up focuses even more on the abs as you have to squeeze your abs to make a planche position. Moreover, like the standard Push-Up, this variation also focuses on all the muscles it should but abs are it’s primary focus.

So, if you wish to target your abs with Push-Ups to improve your core strength and gain muscles then along with Spider-Man Push-Up, you should try Planche Lean Push-Up. But keep in mind, it is not as easy as it looks. It is as equally difficult as Spider-Man Push-Up or might be even more. Anyway, don’t forget to watch the video below to learn the proper form before trying.

Staggered Push-Up

Staggered Push-Up falls into the advanced category of Push-Up variations just like Spider-Man Push-Up because of how challenging it is to perform but as challenging as it is to perform, the results are also noteworthy. Staggered Push-Up is called when you put your one hand on the floor above your shoulder height and another towards your ribs. Basically, you have to place your one hand up and one hand down on the floor which makes your hand position unparalleled and in that way, you have to perform the Push-Ups and you also have to reverse your hand positions after each Push-Up to do it on both sides.

Staggered Push-Up is one of the best Push-Up variations as well as one of a kind because with this exercise, you can target almost all the muscles on the front area of the upper body but with more emphasis than standard Push-Ups. You can target chest, triceps, front shoulders, forearms and even abdominal muscles too. Moreover, mastering this Push-Up variation can make you strong enough to perform One-Arm Push-Up which is considered arguably the hardest Push-Up variation with tons of benefits. So, if you want a better Push-Up variation than the standard one for greater strength and to target all the same muscles with greater activation rate then staggered Push-Up is the one you should go for.

Archer Push-Up

Archer Push-Up is one of the advanced and best Push-Up variations that focus on your anterior deltoids and your chest most. It is a very high-intensity bodyweight exercise which helps you to gain explosive strength in your chest, forearms and shoulders. Not to mention, this high quality Push-Up variation helps to build significant amount of muscles on the chest, shoulders mainly anterior deltoids and forearms. Proper form is a must to get the whole benefit from this amazing Push-Up variation. That’s why it is highly recommend you to watch the video below to learn the proper form of this variation. Lastly, just like Staggered Push-Up, mastering Archer Push-Up also gets you ready for One-Arm Push-Up.

One-Arm Push-Up

One-Arm Push Up is one of the few elite level Push-Up variations that is worth doing because other popular elite Push-Up variations like Plyometric Push Up, Clapping Push-Up etc. Are more like callisthenic movements that improves your functional strength but if you want to build muscles then One-Arm Push Up might be the one of them which is worth the effort. One-Arm Push-Up is one of the most hardest bodyweight exercises to perform. So, before trying it out, make sure you can do advanced Push-Up variations such as Archer Push-Up, Staggered Push-Up etc. very well in order to ensure you have enough strength in your arms to push your whole bodyweight with a single arm.

Even many elite and pro level athletes can’t do One-Arm Push-Up that well. So, now you might be wondering how hard it actually is. It’s obviously very difficult but with proper practice and other strength building exercises, you can perform it. One-Arm Push-Up is an outstanding exercise for your chest, forearms and shoulders. If standard Push-Up focuses your muscles with 50% activation rate then you can assume that One-Arm can activate the muscles up to 100% which means double pressure on your muscles! But, keep in mind, without proper form, it is not possible. And most of the athletes or gym-goers can’t perform it with the perfect form. Anyway, it’s one of the best Push-Up variations and a very difficult one that you can try if you have the strength because if you perform it well, you will be way more stronger and gain significant amount of muscle mass on those areas.


Therefore, these are the 10 best Push-Up variations that you can try and add in your workout routine as per your need, preference and obviously depending on your fitness level to be stronger and muscular. You need to decide what you want to focus from a better Push-Up variation than a standard one. For example, if you want better chest then wide grip Push-Up, decline Push-Up and archer Push-Up are the best. Likewise, if you want to focus on abs then go for Planche Lean Push-Up and Spider-Man Push-Up. On the other hand, for shoulders, Pike Push-Up & One-Arm Push-Up are the greatest and for triceps, it is the Diamond Push-Up. But if you want to focus on all the muscles that a standard Push-Up does then try weighted Push-Up, Staggered and One-Arm.

So, as you can see, it all depends on your needs and fitness level. Just make sure, you’re performing the exercises with a proper form to get maximum benefits from it and to avoid injuries. Anyway, hope you guys have found this article helpful enough. If it really so then don’t hesitate to express your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting and appreciating our work.

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