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How to Do Close-Grip and Wide-Grip Push-Ups

If You've Conquered Regular Push-Ups, This Is the Sculpting Variation You've Got to Try Next

There's no denying that push-ups instantly make your arms feel like they're going to fall off no matter your fitness level. They're on my list of "exercises I love to hate" even though push-ups are a great upper-body strengthening exercise. There are so many different variations you can do like clapping push-ups and one-arm medicine ball push-ups — no matter which one you choose, the muscles in your arms are going to be quivering after a few reps!

One variation that challenges me is the close-grip and wide-grip push-up combo. I like it because you're able to work your triceps, chest, and front of your shoulders at once. If you're looking to add some intensity to your workouts, I highly recommend this exercise.

How to Do a Close-Grip and Wide-Grip Push-Up

  • Come into a plank position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your fingertips pointing forward. Be sure to keep your neck and back in a neutral position — you don't want your spine to round or arch. Be sure to engage your core to help you maintain proper form.
  • To perform the close-grip push-up, move your hands in about two inches and tuck your elbows close to your ribs as you lower down to the ground. Your spine should still be in a neutral position, and your core should be engaged.
  • Push your hands through the ground to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
  • From here, move your hands about two inches outside of your shoulders and let your elbows go wide as you lower down into a push-up, keeping your neck and spine in a neutral position.
  • Push your hands through the ground to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep. Beginners should complete two sets of five reps. If you're more advanced, complete two sets of 10 reps.
  • To modify this move, feel free to perform the push-up on your knees as you work on developing your strength.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Tamara Pridgett
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