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How-To: The Difference Between Regular Pushups and Tricep Pushups

Pushups are a staple in many workout routines, but did you know that the positioning of your hands can change the muscles you target? Understanding the difference between regular pushups and tricep pushups can help you diversify your workouts and target different muscle groups more effectively. Here's a breakdown of the two:

Regular Pushups

Hand Position:

For regular pushups, start by placing your hands wider than shoulder-width apart, with your hands positioned just outside the edges of your yoga mat.


As you lower yourself into the pushup, ensure that your elbows are neatly stacked under your wrists. This alignment engages your chest muscles primarily, while also working your shoulders and triceps.

Tricep Pushups

Hand Position:

Tricep pushups, also known as close-grip pushups, require a narrower hand position. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, close to your rib cage.


When you lower yourself into the tricep pushup, keep your elbows tucked in close to your body, stacked above your wrists. Your shoulders will be further in front of your fingers compared to a regular pushup. This form targets your triceps more intensely, while also engaging your chest and shoulders.

Variations for All Fitness Levels

Both regular and tricep pushups can be modified to suit any fitness level. You can perform them on your knees or toes, depending on your strength and experience.

Knee Pushups:

For beginners or those looking to build strength, knee pushups are a great option. Lower your knees to the mat and perform the pushups as described above.

Toe Pushups:

For a greater challenge, perform the pushups on your toes. This variation engages more of your core and increases the intensity of the exercise.


Incorporating both regular and tricep pushups into your workout routine can help you build balanced upper body strength. Whether you're on your knees or toes, these variations offer a versatile way to target different muscle groups and enhance your fitness journey.

Try out these pushup variations and feel the difference! What's your favourite type of pushup?

Here is the YouTube link to see the tutorial on ‘How-To: The Difference Between Regular Pushups and Tricep Pushups

Let me know your thoughts! Every trainer has slightly different variations so take whatever advice sounds right for you, and leave what doesn’t 🙂

I personally find that regular pushups are much more appropriate for mothers who may be nursing wrist injuries/ailments.

If pushups aren’t suitable for the individual. Push-ups can be replaced with bench/chest presses using dumbbells or a barbell.



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