What is a close grip pushup?

There is no denying that push-ups are an excellent exercise for strengthening your upper body. And the best advantage of this exercise is that once you have perfected and practised its traditional version, there are so many different variations that you can try.

One such amazing variation is close grip pushup. Recommended by fitness experts for better muscle building and increasing core stability, this is one callisthenic exercise that you must explore.

A close grip pushup works on these muscle groups:

  • Deltoids
  • Pectorals
  • Triceps

How is a close grip pushup done?

Just like any other exercise, you need to perfect the form of close grip pushups to gain their benefits. 

Here is a detailed explanation of how to do push up close grip:

  1. To begin the exercise, get into all fours. 
  1. Make sure that your hips are over your knees and hands are spaced around two-three inches away from each other. Your shoulder blades must be pushed away from your spine. Your chin must be tucked in throughout the movement.
  1. Grip the floor and engage your lats. Engage your legs and lift your knees to get into the high plank position. At this point, your legs must be hip-width apart.
  1. Now breathe in deeply and engage your core, hips, and shoulders. Keep your ribs low and pelvis tucked in. 
  1. Lower your chest by bending your elbows slowly and retracting your shoulder blades. Your elbows must be placed close to your body.
  1. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds or for as long as you can at the bottom of the movement.
  1. To return to the starting position, squeeze your chest muscles and straighten your elbows gently. Make sure that your shoulder blades are protracted while you push your body upwards.
  1. Once you reach the top of the movement, squeeze your chest and triceps slowly. 

Sets and reps of push up close grip: You can begin by doing 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.

What are some close grip pushup alternatives?

Depending on your fitness objectives and flexibility levels, you can make close grip pushups easier or more challenging. Here are some great close grip push ups alternatives:

  1. Close grip knee push-ups: This is an excellent alternative to the close grip pushups for people who are just starting off with this exercise. This variation puts less amount of stress on your lower body and arms. In this exercise, you need to keep your knees on the floor while doing the range of motion. 
  1. Decline close grip pushup: In this close grip pushup alternative, there is more focus on your upper pecs. When practised regularly, this exercise gives you a stronger and more flexible upper body. To do this exercise, you need to elevate your feet by placing them on a bench or a chair. The remaining movements stay the same as the traditional close grip pushup.
  1. Incline close grip pushup: This alternative prioritises your chest muscles while reducing the stress on your shoulders and arms. To do this exercise, your hands are placed together (around two-three inches apart). The remaining steps remain the same as in the traditional form of this exercise. 

What are the benefits of close grip pushup?

There is a reason why push-ups and their variations are known as a staple for fitness. Though it seems like a simple movement, they have tremendous benefits for your fitness. 

Here are some of the most important close grip pushups benefits:

  1. By targeting almost all of your upper body muscles such as the anterior deltoids in your shoulders, pectoralis major, and triceps, the close grip push up exercise gives your upper body strength. This is essential for not just improving your workout performance but also for enhancing your daily functioning.
  1. This is one of the best exercises for people who want to build stronger and bigger arms. 
  1. How well you do your workouts and daily activities are dependent on your core strength. When done regularly and correctly, close grip push up exercise activates your stabiliser muscles in the midsection along with your lower back and abdominal muscles. 
  1. One of the most important close grip pushups benefits is that it improves your posture. This helps you prevent and manage back problems like pain, stiffness, and tension.
  1. An important advantage of close grip pushup is that it is a versatile exercise. It needs no equipment or even a huge space. This makes it an amazing addition to your workout routine at home.

How to do close grip pushup safely?

Here are some tips for you to do the close grip pushup correctly each time you do this exercise:

  1. Never start doing close grip pushup on your own. Learn it by joining an online gym or from an experienced trainer. This is especially important while doing workouts for beginners
  1. In case you have a pre-existing medical condition or injury, never start doing this exercise without consulting your doctor.
  1. If you feel pain or dizziness anytime while doing this exercise, stop working out immediately.
  1. In case you don’t want to strain your wrists excessively, you can use dumbbells for doing this exercise. Just remember not to lower your body to the floor. Instead, keep it at the level of the top of the dumbbells. 
  1. Always keep your head, spine, and neck in a straight line. This helps prevent injuries and muscle strain. 
  1. Take your time while doing close grip pushups. Never hurry with the movements. 
  1. Don’t give yourself unrealistic targets. Give yourself time in mastering one form of push-ups before you move to the other variation.


Close grip pushups are a superb way to enhance your endurance and fitness and make your daily activities easier. However, the key to gaining all these benefits is that you should modify this exercise to suit your fitness goals, general health, and flexibility levels. Do this, be consistent with your workouts and see your body transform!

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February 16, 2022

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