How To Do A Hand-Release Pushup Correctly, According To A Certified Trainer


One surefire way to improve your pushup game is by trying the hand-release pushup. This variation on the phys. ed. classic will target a lot of the same muscles used in a standard pushup — shoulders, chest, and core. But it will work them even harder by breaking down each stage of the exercise.

What’s more: Starting every rep from the ground increases the range of motion and reduces momentum, which adds to the challenge and forces you to create more force to get back up into a high-plank at the end of every rep.

Want to add this move to your routine? I got you. As a certified personal trainer, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about the hand release pushup — its benefits, technique, variations, and more.

How To Do A Hand-Release Pushup

  1. Start in a high-plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and core engaged.
  2. Lower down until your chest hits the floor. Keep elbows at a 45-degree angle from your torso so you look like an arrow from above.
  3. At the bottom, pick your hands up to hover off the floor a few inches.
  4. Then, place your palms back down, engage your core, leg and glute muscles, and without arching or rounding your spine, push up in to your high plank.

Form tips: Your torso and hips should come up as one unit. Avoid snaking up into a cobra position to get off the ground.

Reps/sets for best results: Three sets of 8–10 reps.

Benefits Of The Hand-Release Pushup

The hand-release pushup is a great exercise for your chest, shoulders, and entire core (abs, back, hips, glutes). It’s a step up from the standard pushup that will challenge you to increase force production off the ground (hello, arm strength!).

It also strengthens your shoulders and core which can aid in tons of other shoulder pressing exercises.

READ MORE: Learn To Do A Legit Reverse Plank For A Major Glutes And Abs Burn

Variations On The Hand Release Pushup

  • Add tempo to the move: Lower into the down position for 3 seconds before releasing your hands to increase time under tension. This will increase difficulty and challenge your strength.
  • Try with one leg: This will challenge your stability and increase the demand on your core as you resist rotation.

How To Add The Hand Release Pushup To Your Workout

  • Swap them in for standard pushups: Use the hand-release pushup in lieu of a regular one any time a workout calls for some variation of the total-body move.
  • Do them as a superset: I recommend adding it to a pulling exercise to get the best of both worlds. So you can do a hand release pushup for three set of 10 reps and then maybe a bent-over dumbbell row for three sets of 8 reps.

This article was originally published on 

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice

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