10 Best Types Of Push-Ups For Women And Their Benefits

Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

Push-ups are great for strengthening and toning the shoulders, chest, and arms (1). But, in general, women have lesser upper body strength than men (2). However, don’t think this exercise is not meant for them, as the benefits of push-ups for women are many. With just the right practice and attitude, women can perform push-ups just as easily.

Push-ups can also support the abs and the muscles of the mid and lower back. They are great for improving your posture and strengthening your core with no need for equipment. You may start with the easier version and gradually move on to advanced levels of push-ups. In addition, performing them the right way by learning the proper technique can reduce the risk of injuries.

This article explores the 10 best push-up exercises for women and their benefits. Keep reading.

10 Best Push-Ups For Women And Their Benefits

Warm up for 10 minutes before you begin. This prevents any muscle pull. Get ready to start with the easier push-ups before going for the tougher variations.

1. Knee Push-Ups

Benefits of knee push-ups

Shutterstock

Benefits

Knee push-ups are great for beginners. They work on the chest (pectorals), shoulders (deltoids), and arms (biceps). With knee push-ups, you will learn to engage your core and maintain proper form – and this is crucial for moving on to advanced push-ups.

Steps

  • Get on all fours on an anti-slip mat, legs together, hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, palms flat on the floor, and look down (do not tuck in your neck).
  • Cross your legs from the knees, tuck in your stomach to keep your core tight, engage your glutes, and keep your head, neck, and spine in a straight line. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and lower your chest towards the floor. Stop right before your chest touches the floor. Make sure your elbows don’t stick out too away from your body. Do not let your hips drop down.
  • Pause for a moment, and push your body up to the starting position. Inhale.
  • Repeat the steps again.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps. Move on to 3 sets of 8 as you become more comfortable with the technique.

2. Wall Push-Ups

Source: YouTube

Benefits

Wall push-ups work on the chest (pectoral muscles), shoulders, arms, and core muscles. They help build, strengthen, and tone your chest muscles and give your breasts a lift naturally. For beginners, wall push-ups are best to practice after knee push-ups. They prepare them for the regular push-ups and other advanced variants.

Steps

  • Stand facing a wall your arm-length away. Keep your feet hip-width apart, legs straight, and knees soft.
  • Place your palms on the wall with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your neck straight and look at the wall. Engage your core and glutes. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and move your chest towards the wall. Make sure you do not bend from the hip. Your head, spine, glutes, and legs should be in a straight line.
  • Stop when you are a few inches away from the wall.
  • Pause and push your body back to the starting position. Inhale.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps. Move on to 8 or 12 reps as you become comfortable.

3. Incline Push-Ups

Source: YouTube

Benefits

This is a slightly tougher push-up variant compared to knee and wall push-ups. Incline push-ups are performed with the hands positioned higher than the feet. It helps improve upper body muscular endurance. It also tones and strengthens the chest, shoulders, arms, and core. To do this push-up, you can use a bench at the gym, a sofa, a table, etc.

Steps

  • Place your palms flat on a bench, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Keep your neck straight and look at the bench. Extend your legs backward and keep your feet close together.
  • Tuck in your stomach, engage your glutes, and keep your head, neck, back, hips, and legs in a straight line. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and lower your chest down towards the bench.
  • Stop when your chest is just about to touch the bench. Do not drop your hips down or hunch your back. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Pause for a moment and push your body back to the starting position. Inhale.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps before moving on to 8 and 12 reps per set.

4. Regular Push-Ups

Benefits of regular push-ups

Shutterstock

Benefits

Regular or basic or standard push-ups are an effective upper body strengthening and endurance exercise that engages the core, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps. This workout is slightly tougher than the knee, wall, and incline push-ups. But with the correct starting position and posture, doing regular push-ups can become easier.

Steps

  • Lie down on your belly on an anti-slip mat.
  • Place your palms flat on the floor right next to your chest, just below your shoulders.
  • Keep your legs hip-width apart. Curl in your toes.
  • Exhale and push your body up by fully extending your elbows. Your head, neck, spine, and hips should be in a straight line. Look at the floor but do not tuck your neck. Keep your core and glutes engaged.
  • Inhale and pause for a moment.
  • Exhale and lower your chest. Stop right when your chest is about to touch the floor.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps before moving on to 8 or 12 reps.

5. Decline Push-Ups

Source: YouTube

Benefits

Decline push-ups require you to keep your legs on a higher plane and hands on the floor. This challenges the core, shoulders, glutes, chest, biceps, and triceps. You can use a bench, a box, or any piece of furniture to do this push-up.

Steps

  • Sit on your knees facing away from the bench, box, or the furniture you are going to use for this exercise.
  • Place your palms flat on the floor, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Roll your shoulders back.
  • Place your feet on the bench one by one, legs hip-width apart. Tuck in your stomach and engage your glutes. Keep your head, spine, hips, and legs in a straight line. Look at the floor but do not tuck in your neck. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor.
  • Stop when your chest is just about to touch the floor.
  • Pause for a moment and push your body back to the starting position. Inhale.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps before moving on to 8 or 12 reps.

6. Diamond Push-Ups

Source: YouTube

Benefits

Diamond push-ups work primarily on your triceps, shoulders, chest, and core. They help improve your upper body strength and endurance as well as shape up your triceps and get rid of upper arm side bulges.

Steps

  • Sit on the mat on your knees.
  • Form a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers as shown in the image above.
  • Place your hands on the floor, shoulders rolled back, with the core and glutes engaged. Look down but do not tuck in your neck. Your head, neck, spine, hips, and legs should be in a straight line. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale. Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor. Stop when you are about an inch away from the floor. Do not drop your hips down.
  • Pause for a moment and push your body back to the starting position. Inhale.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps before doing 8 or 12 reps per set.

7. Tricep Push-Ups

Source: YouTube

Benefits

Tricep push-ups are similar to regular or basic push-ups, but with a slight change that makes a whole lot of difference. Tricep push-ups target the triceps, core, shoulders, and chest. They are a great way to tone and strengthen your upper body.

Steps

  • Get into the starting position of a regular push-up – stomach tucked in, glutes engaged, neck straight, and look at the floor (do not tuck in your neck).
  • Exhale and lower your body. This time make sure that your elbows are close to your body. Do not let them stick out. Go as far down as you can and maintain a proper form.
  • Pause for a moment and push your body back to the starting position. Inhale.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps before attempting 8, 12, or 15 reps per set.

8. Spiderman Push-Ups

Benefits

If you are ready to take your push-up game to the next level, try spiderman push-ups. These modified push-ups are a mix of push-ups and spiderman exercise and help stabilize and strengthen the core. These work on your abdominal muscles, especially the oblique muscles that are present at the sides of your belly, upper body, glutes, hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings. They help get rid of the love handles and give you a round booty.

Steps

  • Get into a high plank position, hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and feet together.
  • Tuck in your stomach, engage your glutes, and look down (but do not tuck in your neck). This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and bend your elbows to lower your body. Simultaneously, lift off your right foot, bend your knee, and try to touch it with your right elbow.
  • Inhale and push your body back to the starting position. Place your right foot back on the floor.
  • Exhale, lower your body again, and this time, lift off your left foot, bend your knee, and try to touch it with your left elbow.
  • Inhale and push your body back to the starting position. Place your left foot back on the floor.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps before doing 8, 12, 15, or 25 reps per set.

9. Pike Push-Ups

Source: YouTube

Benefits

Pike push-ups help tone and strengthen the upper back and work the core, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. The challenge here is to maintain a pike position as you do the push-ups.

Steps

  • Get into a high plank position – hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Look at the floor but do not tuck in your neck. Hold your stomach in and engage your glutes.
  • Move your hips up to the ceiling, keeping your legs straight and your head and spine in the same line. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale. Bend your elbows and lower your head towards the floor. Do not drop your hips.
  • Pause for a moment and extend your elbows to lift your body back to the starting position. Inhale.
  • Do 3 sets of 5 reps before moving to 8, 12, or 25 reps per set.

10. One-Arm Push-Ups

Source: YouTube

Benefits

One-arm push-up is a fantastic challenge to face. Once you have built your core and upper body strength and endurance by practicing the above 9 types of push-ups, you may try the one-arm push-up. It works on the core, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles. If you have weak wrists, do these exercises.

Steps

  • Get into a kneeling position. Place your palms flat on the floor, right beside your chest. Extend your legs backward. Move your feet wide apart to support your body weight on just one-arm.
  • Lift off one-arm and place it on your thighs or on your back. Tuck in your core and engage your glutes. Breathe. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and bend your elbow to lower your body down towards the floor. Stope before you touch the floor. Do not lower your hips.
  • Pause for a moment and push your body back up and inhale.
  • Do 3 sets of 2-3 reps before moving on to 5, 10, 15, or 25 reps per set.

Note: You can also do ballistic push-ups that include clap push-ups. However, perform these with your personal trainer.

These are the 10 push-up exercises for women (and anyone). But before you start off, here are a few important points to keep in mind.

Points To Remember

  • Always warm up for 10 minutes before starting any exercise. Roll your hands, stretch your shoulders, and extend your arms to warm up the hand muscles before you start doing push-ups.
  • Always start with a lower number of repetitions per set. Begin with 3 sets of 3 reps. Then move on to 3 sets of 5 reps. Then, 3 sets of 8 reps and so on.
  • Practice knee push-ups ad wall push-ups for a week or two before you attempt the regular push-up.
  • Do not overdo push-ups. Do 2-4 types of push-ups twice a week. Only after you have mastered the form, you can do it as many times a week as you want.
  • Your goal is to maintain proper form. That 100 push-ups challenge can wait for a while. Keep your shoulders always relaxed, and abs and glutes engaged. Look at the floor but do not tuck your neck in. Keep your spine, neck, and head in a straight line.
  • Eat healthy food. Include 4-5 types of veggies (boiled, blanched, sauteed), 3 types of low-GI fruits, lean protein (fish, eggs, skinless chicken, tofu, soy, mushrooms, legumes, seeds, nuts), and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, fish oil, fatty fish).
  • Rest well. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Stay relaxed.
  • Also, knee push-ups are not “girl push-ups”. Anyone who is a beginner starts with knee push-ups and builds strength to perform the basic push-ups. No gender is superior or weak.

The benefits of push-ups for women are immense as they help strengthen the core and upper body muscles. This bodyweight exercise can boost endurance, burn stubborn arm fat, and improve chest size. Push-ups can be done anywhere, in the comfort of your home or at the gym. Get started right away by using a mat and wearing comfortable clothes. Push-up exercises have many variations, and you can get started with the ones you feel most comfortable with. Aim for the best results by gradually increasing the number of reps and type of exercise you perform. Make sure that you are doing the exercise correctly, as incorrect form can lead to injuries or muscle pains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are push-ups good for females?

Yes, push-up exercises are amazing for women. They help strengthen the core, and tone the arms, chest, and shoulders. If you maintain proper form while doing push-ups, you will also help improve your overall body strength and fitness.

How many push-ups should a woman do a day?

Do as many push-ups as you can do in proper form. Do not chase after a “push-up challenge”. You will end up injuring yourself. Start with 3 sets of 3-5 reps. Then move on to 3 sets of 8-12 reps or more.

Do push-ups increase or decrease breast size?

Breasts are fat tissue. So, doing push-ups may not increase your breast size directly. But push-ups can improve your chest muscle size and make your breasts appear fuller and shapely.

Key Takeaways

  • Women can do beginner-friendly or advanced push-up variations as per their strength and stamina level.
  • Push-ups help you tone and strengthen your upper body muscles, including your chest, arms, and shoulders.
  • Knee push-ups, wall push-ups, and decline push-ups are some types of push-ups women can do regularly.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Muscle Activation during Push-Ups with Different Suspension Training Systems
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126284/
  2. Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8477683/
The following two tabs change content below.

LATEST ARTICLES