9 Best Push-Up Alternatives You Can Do at Home

alternatives to push ups

Push-ups are a great exercise.

But perhaps you are coming back from injury or you just want to switch up your home gym routine and try some new, fun workouts, without compromising on the effectiveness of your exercises.

If so, here are a few exercises that could replace the traditional push-ups.

Alternatives to Push-ups

Here are our favorite 9 push-up alternatives.

1. Dumbbell Bench Press

gym chest workout with dumbbells push-up alternative

Bench presses are hard enough on their own, but with a dumbbell or two in your hands, they are equivalents to traditional push-ups. Lie down on a bench, with your arms outstretched away from your shoulders to the side.

Place a dumbbell in each of your hands, and push them up and bring them back down to work your muscles. 

If you don’t have a bench in your home gym, try using a fit/Swiss ball instead.


2. Overhead Press

Overhead presses are one of the most popular push-up alternatives because it also works the shoulders, triceps, and core, and also helps in toning the abdomen, which means that you get that six-pack that everyone craves.

All you need to do is hold dumbbells in both of your hands and bring them to the level of your chest. Keeping your knees soft, lift the dumbbells up over your head and hold it, focusing on the stretch in your arms. Bring the dumbbell back down and repeat.


3. Forearm Planks

fit girl demonstrates plank

Holding a plank can often be as hard as pushing up, and works the glutes and your core in the same way that a push-up does. Put out your forearms and balance your weight on them as you stretch your entire body and legs. It is important to hold your core tight and breathe deeply while in the position.


4. Bear Crawls

This is a good workout for your arms and works your shoulders, core, and quadriceps, which are the same muscle group largely being targeted in a push-up too.

With your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips, lift 1-2 inches off the ground with the help of your hands.

You need to maintain this life for the duration of the exercise, which seems easier said than done. To make this little more challenging, move forward a few inches, and then move backward while keeping your body lifted.


5. Floor Press

If you often get pain in your neck and shoulders, this is a good alternative to push-ups, bench presses, and crunches. Simply lie down on the floor (preferably on a yoga mat to be more comfortable), and hold a dumbbell in your hand.

Bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle, and then alternate with the dumbbell in the other hand. Keep at it for a few more minutes and feel it working your arms and core.


6. Rotating Plank

rotation plank

A rotating plank does not only work your upper body but also your lower body. It helps you strengthen your core and also improves balance.

Raise yourself in a plank position, except that in this exercise, you need to support your torso with the help on only one side. Raise your free arm and your free leg in the air. Switch to the other side and repeat the steps 10-12 times.


7. Lat Pullover and Crunch

This exercise requires a simple dumbbell but can work wonders for your body. It works your shoulders, core, arms, and hamstrings. Simply lie down on the ground, and grab one dumbbell with both hands. Lift the dumbbell straight over your chest and raise your legs towards the ceiling in a straight line. Go back to the starting position and do the same thing again.


8. Triceps Dip

As the name indicates, this exercise works your triceps. But it also helps you tighten your core and improve your shoulder strength. Sit down on the floor with your legs outstretched and knees bent.

Place your hands behind you and use them to ease yourself off the floor. Slowly bend your elbows together and lower yourself to the ground again. Repeat the same motion a couple of times to get the hang of it.


9. Weight Free Rows

Weight free rows are a simple enough exercise but are extremely beneficial for your back. It works your upper and lower back and can give you the perfect waistline if you practice it enough.

Stick your elbows to your waist, and hold your forearms away from your body. You can now start rotating your forearms as if working an oar. You can add weights to this workout if you please too.


Key Takeaways

Don’t push yourself to go for a push-up if your body doesn’t have the strength to support you.

If the push-up does not work for you, try any of these alternative exercises in its place and reap the same benefits that you would have if you were performing push-ups.

Always remember that what is truly important that you enjoy your workouts and stay consistent with them instead of working yourself to exhaustion and boredom.

You can switch up your workout routine and replace the typical push-up with any of these push-up alternatives to test yourself and challenge yourself.

Many of these exercises can easily be performed in your home gym with little to no equipment, and hardly any more time than a standard push-up would require.

Happy working out!

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