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Modified Push Up

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The Push Up is a classic bodyweight movement that strengthens your arms, chest, and shoulders. However, if you find that traditional Push ups on your hands and toes are too difficult to perform, the Modified Pushup is a great way to build up your upper body strength until you can graduate to the harder variation.

How to do a Modified Push Up

Begin by kneeling down on a comfortable mat. Lower your upper body with your arms straight out in front of you and onto your palms spaced about shoulder-width apart. Now bend your knees so your toes are raised off of the floor behind you and cross your feet together pointing upwards.

At this point, only your knees and palms should be touching the ground. Keeping your back, hips, and neck in a straight line, and in a controlled movement, bend your elbows so that your chest is lowered as close as possible to the floor. Pause at the bottom, and then using your chest muscles, push yourself back up so your arms are straightened again and your upper body has returned to its starting position.

This counts as one Pushup.

Tips for Modified Push Ups

You should find that by raising up the bottom half of your legs and using your knees as an axis, the weight on your arms is reduced and this exercise can be performed for greater repetitions than possible with the unmodified Pushup.

Modified Pushup Video Demonstration

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on