The Right Way To Do Wide Pushups

If you're looking for a way to shake up your pushup routine while hitting some less frequently worked-out muscles, wide pushups are a natural progression from the standard close pushup. As the name suggests, they involve spreading your hands farther apart, but there are some subtle differences that change the way your muscles work as well.

Wide pushups focus more attention on your chest and shoulder muscles compared to regular pushups, so they're a great addition to an upper body workout. They are challenging, though, so don't start your workout with a round of them: Warm up first, with some light cardio and dynamic stretching (via Healthline).

You can start finding your wide pushup stance by first getting into a high plank position with your feet together and the balls of your feet pressing into floor, legs straight, glutes and core muscles engaged, and hands pressing straight into the ground directly below your shoulder blades. Then, move one hand at a time out wider, so they're on the ground with fingers facing forward at about one and a half times as wide as your shoulders. From there, slowly lower to the ground — and as you lower, your elbows will come out to the sides. Maintaining control, once your chest touches the floor, steadily press back up into the high pushup position (via Livestrong).

Are wide pushups safe?

Starting from the high pushup position rather than on the ground ensures that you have the core strength and stability, as well as muscle control in your shoulders, to safely lower yourself down and then push back up. Good form is critical when it comes to doing wide pushups safely, and wide pushups require more body control and strength than the standard variation (via Upright Health).

Don't be surprised if you can't do as many wide pushups as you can regular pushups. It's a different movement and requires more control of your shoulder muscles. Think about widening your shoulder blades and spreading them apart as your elbows come out and you lower down.

If wide pushups on the ground are too difficult, consider doing them against the wall or with your hands on a box or bench rather than doing the classic "knee push-up" modification in order to really focus on proper core engagement and form (via the Mayo Clinic).