Do Push Ups Build Muscle?

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The quick and dirty answer is YES. These are a movement that will absolutely help you build muscles. This is a bodyweight exercise that really works the tris, the chest and the shoulders. Meanwhile, the core and the glutes also do lots of work as they keep your body stable while doing the movement.

In short, doing push-ups is a very good thing, and you should learn the different methods of doing them. This way, you can work your muscles in new ways, keep breaking down and repairing those fibers, and becoming stronger and more fit with each workout.

Push-ups are great because they can be done just about anywhere, so there’s no excuse not to work your arms, chest, tris and core. Stay with us to learn about different moves you can do.

1. The Classic

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So, this is the push up you already know about. In movies when the drill sergeant tells the young recruit to “Drop and give me 20!” This is just the move you picture.

Your hands go under the shoulders or just a bit wider. Keep the core tight. Keep the back straight. You can do this on your toes or if need be on the knees. Knees are great for beginners, by the way.

Lower yourself down to the ground slow. Do not let the lower body sag. Do not arch your back like a cat, either. Keep the elbows close to the body and tuck them in. Do not let them go out to the sides.

Exhale and push yourself back to the start. That’s it! Now, do as many as you can. Take a rest and try it again.

2. The Diamond

Sometimes known as the “close grip” pushup, the diamond is different and also much more difficult than the traditional pushup. You get your body in the same stance as you would a traditional pushup, but the hands are much closer together.


In fact, your hands should be close enough to form a diamond shape with your pointer and index finger is touching, making a diamond/triangle formation.

Now do the same thing as you would with a traditional push-up. Lower yourself down slowly, and then use your hands as leverage to push up and bring yourself back to starting position.

Don’t let those elbows flare out, either-it’s very tempting to do so as this movement is harder than most. Keep practicing at this, it’s a tough move.

3. Clapping Pushup

Image result for clapping push up

If you thought the diamond was hard, wait until you try this one out. This uses explosive movements to get your muscles working. The start point is like that of the classic, and you follow all of the same movements as you do it.

However, when you come up, you have to get yourself off the ground with enough room to clap your hands together before you come back down.

It is also critical that you land with your elbows bent at a slight angle to absorb the shock of landing. Just as you bend your knees as you jump down from a wall or box, this is the same principle.

If you have never done this, try popping up without the clapping motion. Then, add the clap in when you feel ready. You can also try this off the knees to start.

4. Superman Pushup

superman pushups

Once you have mastered the art of the plyometric or clapping pushup, you can try out the Superman. This takes it to the next level and your whole body gets some air!

As you push off the ground, make sure your feet, as well as your torso, are in the air. Make it so your arms go above the head as if you were Superman flying through the air. Then, get ready to safely catch yourself with that slight elbow bend so that you land safely.

It may be helpful for you to look up a video on this to see it in motion. See how others do it safely before trying yourself.

These pushups are great because the fast twitch muscles in the chest get a good workout. If you are into basketball or football, these moves are great because it helps you throw those passes with ease.

Let us emphasize: Do NOT do this move until you can do a traditional pushup, or a clap push up. This move is very advanced and doing it before you are ready may result in injury.

5. High/Low Pushup

Sometimes known as the staggered pushup, this is an intermediate level of a pushup. You get into the classic pushup stance, but the difference here will be in your hands. One hand will be higher than the other one. The higher hand will be in line with your shoulder.

Once you are in position, you can do the move. Do it as you would a classic pushup. The hand and harm that is in the lower position will have to work harder. Do your reps with one hand higher, and then switch hands and do another set of reps on the other side.

6. Classic Pushup (Wide Grip Variation)

wide push ups

This is a great way to engage the chest and shoulders. Your hands go further apart than they do with the classic pushup. Elbows will have a tendency to bend more when you lower down toward the floor.

The wider your hands, the more your chest works. This means that doing wide-grip pushups will make your pectoral muscles work harder and get stronger.

Get Working!

Pushups are great because you can do them just about anywhere. If you are new to pushups, try doing them off the knees before you do them on the toes. You can even use push up stand bars to help you out and gain a bit more stability as you start out.

Begin by mastering the traditional pushup. Once you’ve got that down, try moving onto some of the more advanced moves. Pushups are a cheap and versatile way to help your muscles grow.