Close-grip push-up

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Triceps Brachii
  • Synergists: Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major, Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Get on all fours with your hands positioned either directly under your shoulders or closer together.
  2. Extend your feet backward and straighten your body.


  1. Keeping your body straight and your elbows tucked in, inhale as you lower your chest onto your hands.
  2. Exhale as you push your body back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • To make the close-grip push-up easier, do it on your knees, or place your hands on the edge of an elevated surface, such as a bench or even a table (see the second video).
  • To make the exercise more difficult, either wear a weighted vest, load a chain around your torso, or position your hands closer together.
  • The most difficult unloaded variation of the close-grip push-up is the triangle or diamond push-up, which involves positioning your hands so close together as to form a diamond shape with your fingers and thumbs (see the third video). In one study, the diamond push-up was ranked the most effective triceps exercise!
  • To get your core more involved, perform the close-grip push-up on a medicine ball (see the fourth video). This exercise is more properly known as the medicine ball push-up.


Close-grip push-up

Elevated close-grip push-up

Diamond push-up

Medicine ball push-up


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