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Best Push Up Workout Routine: Chest & Abs

By Marc Perry / December 13, 2016

One of the classic chest exercises is the push up, so I created a push up workout for you that thoroughly engages your chest and abs. I also have a couple more push up workout ideas at the bottom of this article. For an intro video on push ups, check out How To Use Proper Push Up Form.

Push Up Workout Instructions:

Push Up Workout Circuit:

What I enjoy about the following workout is that you hit your entire chest muscle effectively with the different hand positions, while engaging your shoulders and triceps as well. On top of the benefits to your “pushing muscles”, by alternating with abs movements, you can get an intense abs burn. If you think about it, a push up is like a moving plank, so you can get a very intense abs burn while still focusing on your push up workout.

Push Up Workout Exercise #1: Wide Grip Pushup

Push Up Workout Exercise #2: V Ups

For a video demonstration of V Ups, check out this video: V Ups Abs Exercise.

Push Up Workout Exercise #3: Medium Grip Pushups

Push Up Workout Exercise #4: Reverse Crunch

Push Up Workout Exercise #5: Close Grip Pushup

My hands are not that close together, so feel free to do a diamond push up, or bring your hands a little closer together without putting too much pressure on your wrists and shoulders.

Push Up Workout Exercise #6: Bicycles

Other Push Up Workout Ideas:

The above workout routine is just an example of many different options that are available. Here are a couple more push up workout ideas to try that use a similar framework as the jump rope workouts that I do:

“Pick A Number” Push Up Workout:

My favorite push up workout is very simple. All you do is choose a number, let’s say 150 push ups, then you do as many sets as you need to hit that number while resting about 30 seconds between each set. However many sets it takes you to get to the 150, than that’s how many you have to do. You can then either increase the number, or try decreasing the number of sets it takes you to get to the number you have chosen. This is the classic workout that I did every day for an entire year when I was a teenager, and I still do it now!

“Mix It Up” Push Up Workout:

One way to make the push up a little more dynamic is to choose 3, or 5 variations and complete a few sets of each. That’s a total of 9 to 15 sets of push ups that engage your chest, shoulder, triceps, and core slightly differently. If you haven’t seen my 10 Push Up Variations video, you should check it out (just be careful with the Aztec Push Up!).

Hope these ideas were helpful for you. If you try any of these workouts, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!


  • tanmay absorto says:

    thanks a lot Marc. i will follow the chart that you have given. i will feedback after a few weeks. carry on bro . u r superb

  • Tanmay Absorto says:

    there is one more problem Marc. my two arms are not equally muscular. actually my right arm is more muscular than left one. so how can i make those equal?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Tanmay - That's a tough one. The best bet is to try to use dumbbells to help correct the muscle imbalances and secondly to make sure you keep your form identical on both sides of your body. For example, you may shrug your shoulders on one side while you do push ups, which is a common compensation.

  • Bryan Marthin says:

    Hi Marc, I started this workout few days ago and i think this is a really great exercise. I just wondered, is alternating between push ups and sit ups better than doing 3 sets of push ups then do 3 sets of sit ups after the push ups? Will the results be the same or different?

  • Alex Raf says:

    great article..of u tell me what is the perfect distance between two hand in push ups..

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Alex Raf - there is no perfect distance, because different hand grips change the exercise, which I do frequently. With that said, the military push up requires that your hands be slightly wider than shoulder width apart and slightly below your shoulders, similar to how I am demonstrating in the video.

  • conrad Jones says:

    Hi Mark Perry,

    How many times a week to do this workout?

    Conrad Jones

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Conrad - I've answered this same question I'm guessing a few times in the comments of this article. Short answer is to think in movement patterns. Think 2-3x per week could work well for you.

  • tanmay absorto says:

    thanks big bro. i will obviously follow the way u have shown . rock on bro

  • karl says:

    Hi Marc, I am 14 years old and I want to know if is good for me to have a chest and abs,can you tell me a good way to have a chest and abs fast not to big and same for the abs if that possible.
    thank u

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @karl - Please read our free Get Lean Guide. Focus on losing fat without losing muscle.

  • Ruben says:

    Hi, Great article.
    I have a silly question.
    can I do push-ups every day?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • Nick says:

    Hey Marc,

    I am trying this routine but it is difficult for me to do a push-up of any kind because my elbows hurt, do you have any ideas that might make push-ups easier on elbows?


    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Nick - That's a tough one. You may need to get your elbows checked out by a doctor/physical therapist. It's possible you may have tightness in a muscle that is pulling on your elbow (such as your biceps). With that said, using proper push up form as I describe in my push up video - Proper Push Up Form: How To Do A Push Up.

  • Robert Mann says:

    Would this be considered a high intensity workout?

    • Marc Perry says:

      Hey Robert, I would say not really because it focuses on primarily two muscle groups and doesn't include any leg exercises. This is an old article, I much prefer full body strength circuits and only train full body now!

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