4 Knuckle Push Ups Benefits: Muscles Worked, Variations, Mistakes

knuckle push ups benefits for man - fist knuckles

If you have a workout plans to strength your upper body swiftly without equipment, Knuckle Push Ups is a Great Benefits Compound Exercise to add on your schedule, where you can hit various muscles in one single exercise, but all you need to do is just to change your fist width apart, and you’re ready to hit a new muscle! So if your not exercising push up your missing a lot, I will explain this to you in few minutes.

Through this article will discuss the different working muscles that can be strength using this exercise, what is the benefits you can gain! Different variations of knuckle push up, the levels that can be adjusted to control the difficult while performing the exercise, critical mistakes that can be avoid to minimize yourself from any possible injury.

Knuckle Push Ups Benefits

Their is a 4 good benefits exercising using a fist knuckles as the following:

  • Improve balancing your upper body. Without the forearm stabilizing and control the wrist and knuckles, your body could collapse during exercising.
  • Using the palm to push up, will set your hands 90 degree with the forearms, which will minimize the blood flow on your hand, while the natural fist will not prevent the circulation flow.
  • You can gain a lot from the routine, where you can practice a multi body muscles either upper or middle with a slight change, using only one consolidated workout.
  • You can practice anytime at home without equipment, and start perform your workout.



How To Do Knuckle Push Ups?

If your totally beginner to workout, it’s early to added directly in your agenda, so it’s preferred to perform a standard push up or any forearm exercises for a while, then can move to this exercise.

But before that, it’s good to know that, even fist knuckles exercise have a great benefits, I want you to be aware first, that in case the exercise your performing not following the correct steps, your exposure yourself to certain injury, so make sure your performing correctly.

  • Lie down on a mat or floor with a regular or standard hand push up position, place your hands typically at shoulder width apart or slightly wider, while set your feet with 6 inch apart.
  • Switch both your hands to be on fist form, while keep your arms and back straighten (starting position).
  • Gradually lower yourself to the ground by bend your elbows (without upper body touch the floor), insure your elbows slightly close to your body, for not more than 45 degree.
  • Raise up your body, by pushing the ground with your fist, and set arms fully extended (don’t lock your elbows at top position). (this is one step)
  • Repeat exercise with same steps.


Advance Tip: While your on push up at starting position, (Before you start the routine) you can place your thumb only for both fist on the floor (put don’t press them heavily) this will balance your body from falling during your workout.


Knuckle Push up Muscles Worked

As we explained before, knuckle push up work on various muscle mainly on upper body. Which involve triceps, shoulders with different deltoid layers, chest muscles and parts of Abs muscles. So the possibilities to gain from one exercise is high, you can utilize the exercise by checking the other features below and controls to be aware of.


Do Knuckle Push Ups Work Forearms?

During knuckle push up the wrist playing a great role on stabilizing and control the exercise, however forearms is responsible to extend, rotating and flexing wrist joint, which means forearms maintain the balancing of wrist from breakdown, that leads to increase forearms fiber strength and improve it’s stability.

Forearms have more engagement in knuckle exercise, than traditional push up which is less involvement on the muscle that works on less effective way.

In summery, strengthen forearms works best with pulling exercises, not like pushing where it have a minor role in building forearm muscle.



Knuckle Push Up Mistakes

Their could be some failure mistakes by the performer while exercising, possibly exposure to serious injury, cause of slight stumble or underestimate the commitment with the right routine steps and precaution required during performing.

  • Wrong fist position and alignment: I cannot emphasis on the importance of placing your fist with a correct position and shape, each time your changing the distance between hands your actually hitting different muscles, so you need to specify what exactly muscles strength you want to focus and start workout, the wrist should always be straighten with your hands.

Cause any failure to do that, you exposure your hands for injuries, cause of heavy body weight lifting using your hands.

  • Start directly with a difficulty level exercise of knuckle push up, If your beginner or this exercise is new for you, try to avoid jumping directly to difficulty level, in order to practice with the correct steps of the routine start with lighter level, then gradually increase difficulty during your journey.  I add a topic on this article where you can to control the exercise level.
  • Performing while not align back straighten, it’s important to keep your back align straighten as possible while performing, the reason behind that, if you raise your lower back above usual level, this will push your upper body forward and will lead to more pressure on your fist while performing, that could cause injury or twist on your wrist.
  • Misplace elbows position, Insure your elbows on correct position while performing.

Mainly there is two correct position for elbows, either very close to your body which hits triceps, or slight arms opens, which will hit chest, if you mistakenly set your elbows on 90 degree from your body, this will increase pressure on joint elbows and possible cause injury or harm your joint.

  • Un-Protect your Bare Hand Fist. During repeating exercise many times, your hand and fingers start swollen and sore, in order to prevent that it’s better before start performing to wear cross-fit grip which will protect your hand from such injuries.
  • Knees Inflammation. If your planing to place your knees on a rough floor, you exposure your knees to soreness, it’s better to exercise safely with a specialized soft materials workout using mat exercise, and pick the one that suits your needs with a correct size, to avoid your knees from a possible injury.


Knuckle Push up Variations

Their is a different variations that can be exercise using knuckle push up, but you need to beware if your totally beginner, it’s better not to use the variation to exercise, cause it’s a kind-of difficult, and more important in order to protect your knuckle and wrist from any harm.

If your qualified to perform, here we go:

Triangle motion knuckle push up

Triangle motion knuckle push up

The target behind the exercise, it imposes more power tension and focus on one hand each time (similar like isolation muscle exercise), with extra load on the arm than usual, and by change the angle of motion (triangle movement shape) to reach out and strength other side.

Start the exercise as usual knuckle push up with starting position and a fist on the ground, slowly lower your chest towards left fist direction (chest shall not touch the floor), freeze for 2 seconds then push up back to starting position, then switch to other right side, by lower your chest to right fist, then push back.

Then alternatively repeat exercise to both sides.


Twisting Knuckle Push Up

Twisting leg knuckle push up

This variation increase flexibility in your thighs, hips and rotations muscles.

While your on knuckle push up start position, rotate your hip slightly to the right, send your right leg to the left side by cross it in front of left leg, then lower your chest slowly to the ground as normal push up, but insure your hip not touch the floor, then push your fist on the floor to back up, then bring back the right leg to first normal position.

Repeat the exercise steps by switch to other side of left leg.


Knee to Opposite Elbow Knuckle Push Up

Knee to Opposite Elbow Knuckle Push Up

The variation responsible to work on many muscles, to strength Abs, back and improve hips rotation, as well engage chest and triceps.

The exercise sound tricky, but it add more challenge to your exercise similar like twisting, as well it’s exciting workout.

Begin as usual start of knuckle push up, now send your right knee to left elbow directions, hold this position for 2 seconds, then return your right leg to start position, now lower your chest to ground as usual push up, then push back to start position. Perform the same exercise steps by switch to other side, this time of left knee and repeat.


Note: If your intermediate or advance builder, and you want to increase the intensity of the exercise and build endurance, you can either wear a weighted vest, or add any weight on your back (insure does not harm you).



Hand Placement Knuckle Push-Ups

You can Perform Knuckle Push-Ups Targeting Different Muscles, using different hand placement, by changing only the fist distance width a part. Now to target:

  • Triceps Muscles: By keep very close fist grip as possible, and insure your elbows very close to your body while performing.
  • Deltoid Shoulder (Lateral & Posterior): Set you fist at shoulders width a part, to hit posterior delts keep your elbow close as possible to your body, to target lateral delts, keep elbows a bit far for from your body at a round 45 degree.
  • Deltoid Shoulder (Interior): Set your fist slightly wider than shoulders width a part, while keep elbow a round 45 degree.
  • Chest Muscles: Place your fist a round double shoulders width a part, and elbow at a round 60 degree max.

hand placement knuckle push ups


Difficulty level of Knuckle Push Up

You can still control the difficulty level of knuckle push up, either you want start lighter or heaver level, depends on you and ability, by perform the following:

Easy: Level 1: Where you need to place your knees on the ground, while your thighs as 90 degree level with your calves.

Intermediate: Level 2: You need to place your knees on the ground, while your thighs as 120 degree level with your calves.

Advance: Level 3: You need to raise your full body by balancing it on your toes.



We discuss the tips of importance and benefits of fist knuckle push ups, with a different muscles you can gain while performing, with just a slight change.

Following proper knuckle push-up form, and moving gradually in the levels, becomes easy once your learn right instructions step by step. However this push up can be considered for intermediate and above, cause their possibility for exposes to injury in case underestimate the exercise level, in addition without a secure precaution of using cross grips and suitable fitness mat, will increase the chances to fist sore and injuries, so be extra careful a bout this point.

Also remember to use always a stable with no bend fist to minimize the risk during exercise.

I Wish Article provide more insight of Today workout, Happy Safety Exercises while Building to Strength your Muscles.


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