Narrow push ups: a comprehensive guide to mastering this effective exercise

If you’re looking to enhance your upper body strength and build well-defined triceps, narrow push ups are a fantastic addition to your workout routine. This challenging bodyweight exercise is not only effective but also versatile, allowing you to customize it to your fitness level. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the world of narrow push ups, covering everything from proper form to advanced variations.

What Are Narrow Push Ups?

Narrow push ups, also known as close grip push ups, are a variation of the classic push up exercise. The key difference lies in hand placement. During narrow push ups, you position your hands closer together, typically directly beneath your shoulders. This narrow hand placement targets the triceps, chest, and shoulders more intensely than traditional push ups, making it an excellent exercise for building upper body strength and definition.

How to perform narrow push ups correctly

Proper form is crucial to maximize the benefits of narrow push ups and prevent injury. Follow these steps to perform narrow push ups correctly:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands placed directly beneath your shoulders.
  2. Engage your core and maintain a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows while keeping them close to your sides.
  4. Descend until your chest is just above the ground.
  5. Push back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to narrow push ups, you can modify the exercise to make it more manageable:

  • Perform the push up on your knees instead of your toes.
  • Use an elevated surface like a bench or a sturdy chair to reduce the angle of your body.
  • Start with a higher hand placement and gradually move your hands closer together as you build strength.

Variations of narrow push ups

Once you’ve mastered the basic narrow push up, you can progress to more challenging variations to continue challenging your muscles:

1. Diamond Push Ups 2. Decline Narrow Push Ups 3. One-Arm Narrow Push Ups
Place your hands in a diamond shape beneath your chest. Elevate your feet on a stable surface, such as a step or a bench. Perform narrow push ups with one hand behind your back.

Benefits of narrow push ups

Narrow push ups offer numerous advantages for your fitness journey:

  • Strengthening the triceps, chest, and shoulders.
  • Enhancing overall upper body strength.
  • Improving core stability and balance.
  • Helping in muscle definition and toning.
  • Requiring no equipment, making them a convenient at-home exercise.


1. How often should I do narrow push ups?

You can perform narrow push ups 2-3 times a week as part of your upper body workout routine. Allow your muscles to rest and recover between sessions.

2. Can narrow push ups help with weight loss?

While narrow push ups primarily target muscle strengthening, they can contribute to overall calorie burning when included in a comprehensive fitness plan. However, weight loss depends on various factors, including diet and overall activity level.

3. Are narrow push ups suitable for beginners?

Narrow push ups can be challenging for beginners, but modifications such as knee push ups or using an elevated surface can make them more accessible. Start with these variations and gradually progress to standard narrow push ups as your strength improves.

4. Can I incorporate narrow push ups into a full-body workout?

Absolutely! Narrow push ups can be part of a well-rounded full-body workout routine. You can combine them with exercises targeting other muscle groups to create a balanced workout plan.

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of narrow push ups, you can confidently incorporate them into your fitness regimen to achieve your upper body strength and toning goals. Remember to maintain proper form, progress gradually, and enjoy the benefits of this versatile exercise.

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