Fitness: Pushups variants

Flying Superman Pushups

Everyone knows push-ups! Pushups are also used as a disciplinary punishment in karate training or other martial arts and sports. In any case push-ups are a good training exercise to train various muscle groups. In addition to strength, they also improve endurance. In addition to the Plank (forearm support), the push-up is a very popular exercise also for home use, because you can challenge your body in a very small space.

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From my own experience, I think that the standard push-up is still a nice exercise, but it gets a bit boring in the long run, and the body gets used to the strain relatively quickly. So here are a few suggestions for the push-up push-up - I have taken the liberty of compiling a small list of push-up variations to bring some momentum into the training plan for home.

Table of contents:

The classic - standard push-up

Standard PushupsThe classic, the standard push-up. Even this type of push-up can be varied simply by holding the hand. Options would be: Hands flat forward, hands flat inside, 45 degrees inside...

Karateka and other martial artists usually prefer the variant on the fists. Here the hands are balled into fists so that the push-ups are performed on the knuckles of the index and middle fingers. Beginners can let their knees rest on the floor during this exercise to make it a little easier.


Diamond PushupUnlike the standard push-up, the Diamond push-up only differs in the position of the hands.

These are brought together at the thumb and forefinger so that they form a diamond. The triceps is especially trained in this process.

Important not only for this variation: Grade beginners should do the exercises as slowly as possible and start in the position below to avoid injuries.


Jesus Push-UpsThe push-up variation "Jesus" is a nice exercise to train the latissimus (muscle at the back of the shoulder). The hands are placed to the side of the body pointing outwards.

Since one takes up a position similar to being fastened to a cross, this special naming probably came about.

The difficulty of this exercise can be varied by placing the hands closer or further away from the body.


Superman Push-UpIn Superman pushups, the arms are stretched forward. The upper body muscles are also trained and put under particular strain.

Depending on the level of training, the degree of difficulty can be varied again by bringing the hands closer or further away from the body.

In any case, the exercise should be performed slowly and above all correctly.



Spiderman PushupsAs we have just entered the realm of superheroes with the Superman pushups, here is another push-up variation from this genre. πŸ˜‰ The Spiderman Pushups!

The starting position is the same as with the standard push-ups, except that when lowering the body, the knee of one side is guided and held towards the elbow of the same side. Important Keep hips and upper body parallel to the ground.

When the body is pushed up the leg is guided back to the starting position.

Pushups - More challenging is always possible!

In the second part of the series of push-ups and pushups, things sometimes get a little more advanced. True to the slogan: More challenging is always possible πŸ˜‰

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In the first part of this series push-ups push-ups / pushups I have already shown some of my favourite variations. But as these too have called for a change over time, I would like to present more pushup variations here, which I personally like very much and which can be easily integrated into daily training.

2-Finger Pushup

Two finger pushupThe 2-finger push-up became famous through Bruce Lee among others, who even practiced it with one arm. However, you have to put your legs as far apart as possible to practice the whole thing with one arm, otherwise you will simply fall over sideways! πŸ˜‰

Execution 2-Finger Pushup: The pushups are usually only performed on thumb and index finger.

Certainly not an exercise for beginners, but an interesting variation to additionally train the tension in fingers, wrist and forearms.


Handstand PushupsIf the certain percentage of your own body weight is not enough for push-ups and you are looking for an additional load for chest and shoulder muscles, you can increase the training effect by placing your legs higher than your shoulders.

For the beginning, you place your legs on a chair or small stool, for example, with your hands on the floor. If that's not enough for you, do a handstand (preferably on a wall so you don't fall over when your strength decreases!) and do your pushups from there. The difficulty can be varied well by the depth of the pushups and speed.

Side-to-Side Pushups

Sideways - side-to-side pushupsA really nice holding exercise is this pushup variation.

The starting position is the same as with a normal push-up. However, after pushing up the body is guided to one side. Hold briefly, and back!

A good exercise to also strengthen the lateral hip and abdominal muscles. Especially for karate and other martial arts this is a useful exercise to strengthen sidekicks (Yoko-Geri).

1,2,3 - Clap-Pushups

Clap PushupsThe Clap Pushup works with an impulse movement, so that the hands are pushed up a little bit from the ground. At the moment when both hands are off the floor, you clap your hands once and quickly catch yourself on the floor again.

What is important here is the control of the body. You should set down as silently and easily as a feather. That is to say, the body weight should be absorbed by muscles so that it does not hit the joints!

If that is still too easy for you, simply turn the 1-clap pushup (1 clap) into a 2-clap or 3-clap pushup (multiple clap push-ups).

If you find this too easy, you can increase the level of difficulty by changing this variant to the Muy Thai variant. With the Muy-Thai-Pushups you don't clap in front of your body anymore, but you clap on the back of your body when you push up the push-up. To practice this it is sufficient to tap the buttocks with both hands. Have fun trying it out!Β πŸ˜‰ *Attention, not for beginners!*


Flying Superman PushupsMy current favorite version of all pushups is the Flying Superman. Here, in addition to the impulse of the hands upwards (similar to the clap pushups), an impulse from the back and leg muscles is required, so that when pushing up from the push-up, legs and arms are in the air for a short time.

At this moment arms are extended forward and legs backward.

If you take a picture of this exercise at the right moment, it looks like you can fly. πŸ˜‰ Also here: Have fun trying it out - It looks funny if it works!

Flying Superman Pushups

The supreme discipline - The Aztec Pushups

kraken.jpgThe Aztec pushups are some of the hardest pushups I have ever seen. Similar to the Flying Superman the body including arms and legs comes completely off the ground. The difference is that the arms and legs are stretched forwards and backwards, but the abdominal muscles are also pulled together so that the feet and fingers touch under the body for a short moment.

The whole thing can be practiced, for example, by training the movement process the other way round at first. So you lie on your back and do the so-called jackknife! Stretch your legs and arms, so make them very long. Then pull together through the abdominal muscles in such a way that, as already mentioned, the feet/shins and hands touch each other.

I hope to have motivated the one or the other to set new training stimuli, and wish you a lot of fun in training! Leave a comment and share if you like! πŸ™‚

Author: Sascha from

Author: Sascha

Some words about myself. My name is Sascha - i'm a software developer, trader and martial artist from germany. Besides programming, trading and martial arts some of my interests and hobbies are cooking, fitness and hearing loud heavy metal music. :D

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