The 10 best press-up variations

Build raw power and impress your mates with these classic do-anywhere, no-kit moves.

10 press-up variations

Joe Warner
17 Aug 2010
Press-up on knees

Resting your knees on the floor removes some of your bodyweight from the move, making this a great way to start building upper-body strength.
Difficulty: 1/10

Wide-arm press-up

Placing your hands slightly wider will reduce the range of motion, making each rep a bit easier. It also places greater emphasis on the chest and less on the triceps, which are a weak spot for some.
Difficulty: 2/10


Place your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart with your body in a straight line from head to heels. As you lower keep your elbows pointing back, not to the sides.
Difficulty: 3/10

Diamond press-up

Touching the tips of opposite thumbs and index fingers together turns this into a great triceps-sculpting move.
Difficulty: 4/10

T press-up

Twisting and raising your arms alternately after each rep forces your core to work harder to stabilise your body.
Difficulty: 5/10

One-leg press-up

Lift one leg off the ground and perform the set as normal to work your core, glutes and leg muscles.
Difficulty: 6/10

Alternating offset jump press-up

Jumping your hands alternately backwards and forwards hits your chest and triceps muscles from different angles.
Difficulty: 7/10

Jump press-up

Pushing up hard so that your hands leave the floor helps develop explosive upper-body strength and power.
Difficulty: 8/10

Clap press-up

Pushing up explosively after each rep so that you can clap your hands recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibres, which leads to greater size and strength gains.
Difficulty: 9/10

One-arm press-up

The ultimate show-off move, performing press-ups with only one arm requires great upper-body strength and stability because your core must keep your torso steady so that you can complete each rep without falling over.
Difficulty: 10/10

Planche press-up


Done the others? Then try this, the hardest press-up known to man.
Doing a press-up with your feet off the ground requires phenomenal strength, balance and co-ordination. Place your hands by your hips, lean forward, lift your legs off the ground, press up and start counting!

This content is from the experts at Men's Fitness magazine.

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