Push-Ups: Any Way You Want ‘Em

Did you have to do push-ups in school gym?

Did you hate them?

When starting out this exercise, push-ups can “feel” harder than other arm workouts–but they’re a simple and safe move that everyone should do.  Integrating push-ups into your workout every other day can quickly improve the strength and tone of your shoulders, arms and your chest, and put you on the path to a strong and sexy upper body.

Check out our three ways to get started with push-ups, followed by a couple of fun variations to challenge your workout!

Key Tips for Push-ups:

-If  you feel the muscle tiring and shaking a lot, stop. NEVER over-exert yourself on push-ups–this can lead to injury.

-Stop to rest any time you need to; we recommend 30-60 seconds of rest time between sets.

-Keep your neck and body straight.

-Remember to keep your core abs tight!

-Grab a friend and challenge each other to do push-ups! It will keep the rep numbers up where they need to be.

-Listening to a good music beat will keep you in push-up rhythm and complete your set.

Knee Push Ups are Easy Breezy

Push-up #1: The Easy Breezy

Step 1 Lower yourself to the ground facing the floor. Lift yourself up and position your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your legs together, bend the knees and cross your ankles in the air for extra support. Your body is now at a gentle angle to the floor.

Step 2 Keeping your abs tight and your body straight, lower yourself slowly, then push back up. Don’t bend at the waist or stick your, ahem, behind in the air.

Step 3 Repeat the move. Aim for 3 sets of 10 push-ups, but DON’T WORRY if you can’t meet this goal right away. You can build up with push-ups! These are fun and you can do them at home, in the office or at the gym.

A Little Elevation Stair Push ups

Push-up #2: A Little Elevation 

Step 1 Stand facing a staircase with both feet flat on the floor a few inches in front of the bottom step. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the front edge of a step so your body is at roughly a 45-degree angle to the floor. Keeping your abs tight and your body straight, lower yourself slowly, then push back up. Do 1 set of 10.

Step 2 Position your feet about 6 inches away from the stairs and place your hands one step lower. Aim for 10-15 pushups, and take breaks as you need them. We recommend 30 seconds.

Step 3 Repeat the move, but this time back your feet a few more inches away from the stairs and lower your hands another step. Repeat until you run out of stairs and can do 10 on the floor.

Gimme Ten Standard Push-ups

Push-up #3: Gimme Ten! 

Step 1 Lie down on the floor face down with your feet close together. Place your hands shoulder-width apart.

Step 2 While maintaining a straight body–keep your abs tight!–lower yourself down until your chest touches the ground. Do not lock your elbows and let your weight go.

Step 3 Push yourself up. That’s one rep! Now repeat, going a little faster. Complete a set of 10 standard “military-style” push-ups, and aim for three sets.


  • The Diamond Push-up: Start in standard push-up “Gimme Ten” stance, but using your forefingers and thumbs, bring your hands together, palms flat on the floor, to form a diamond shape with the fingers. Lower per standard push-up. Aim for a set of 10.
  • The One-Handed Push-up: Cue the theme to Rocky and get ready to show the world what you’re made of! Starting in standard push-up position, place one hand behind your back and lower yourself to the ground. Raise your body back up. You can try a set of 5 on each side or alternate arms.
  • The Back Elevated Push-up: This requires lifting your legs higher off the ground on an elevated surface, such as a weightlifting bench. It adds a little more “oomph” to the standard push-up. Check out the instructional video at the bottom of this post!

You don’t have to follow these suggestions exactly—find the push-up stance and variation that works for you. There are plenty of instructional videos out there to show you ways to do push-ups indoors and outdoors. You’ll be on your way to a beautifully toned upper body in no time!


  1. This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Best wishes!

    Exactly where are your contact details though?

    • You can always contact us at our toll free number 1-877-374-2627 which is listed on the bar on the right on most pages or send us a message using our ask the doctor links on both this page and our website. You could also e-mail me directly at glanter@ecplasticsurgery.com. We’re always happy to help answer questions. Have a great day!