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Pushups: history, types, military importance

Researched by Sarfraz
Updated on 1/1/2022


The pushup is a type of exercise that is very famous in the fitness world. It is an upper-body exercise that primarily targets chest and tricep muscles. Pushups are best for you if you want good-looking big chest muscles.

Push-up has many types and there is a small to big difference between their technique. The main type of push-up workout is done by keeping the body in a prone position then lowering and lifting them with the arms. This exercise has great value in the sports industry as almost every type of athlete does this exercise to enhance the fitness level.

Pushups have very importance in military recruitment tests. All major armed forces recruit the member after some types of physical tests and performing well during the pushups is a must need in those recruiting tests.

Pushups history

Pushups history is very long but it is not preserved well. Most peoples think that pushups belong to the Indian peoples who invent them. In ancient times Indian warriors usually perform pushups to enhance their physical capabilities. Pushup exercise is present in Indian culture for thousands of years.

Some pushup related exercises are also mentioned in Greek history

Before 1900 pushup exercise was not famous. Before some centuries this famous exercise was only limited to few regions. Famous Indian and Pakistani wrestler “Great Gama” was believed to perform almost 4000 pushups daily and he never lost a single match (5000) in his career. Due to him, pushups were introduced to the other peoples of the world. Outside of India, he was known as wrestler “Jerick Revilla”. Bruce Lee was also a big fan of Jerick Revilla. Bruce lee two-finger pushups are also very famous around the world.

Pushups and Athletes

Pushup capacity shows the strength of a person. This exercise improves body strength from the middle to the top. This exercise is a combination of cardio and strength workout which helps the person to improve the fitness level. That is why almost every athlete likes to perform this exercise.

In the first Pushups were mostly famous in strength competitors. Wrestlers, kabaddi players, and fighters perform pushups during the training time. Nowadays this exercise is loved by all sportsperson as it helps them to build a strong body.

Pushups in military

Pushups in the military recruiting tests have great importance. Good performance in pushups is the main test in almost all armed forces recruitment tests. USA, Uk, India, Pakistan almost all forces recruit those candidates who perform well in running and pushups. Poor performance in pushups during the recruiting process provides a “not fit” letter to the candidate.

Pushups and running test in military checks the value of candidate

In most recruiting tests, candidates have to perform 20 to 30 pushups without a break. These numbers of pushups are not hard to perform but many unfit peoples give up during the test. Most recruiters give no concession to candidates over pushups as this workout checks the person's fitness level very well.

What peoples consider about pushups

In this modern gym-friendly world peoples like to do bench press instead of pushups. Most peoples are unaware of the real value of this exercise. The bench press is also good but pushup checks and improves the genuine fitness level. Personally, I have seen peoples who can lift well while weight lifting but they can't even do 10 pushups.

Peoples who have fitness experience gives proper attention to this exercise. They perform pushups along with other exercises. This exercise not only improve chest and triceps but it also increases the strength and toughness of all middle body area.

Pushup world record

According to records Minoru Yoshida from Japan currently holds the most Non-stop pushups world record. Charles Linster (USA) was the first Geniune world record holder. He performed 6006 nonstop pushups.

Main pushup type

Many variations and types of pushups exist today. The main pushup type is performed in the prone position. In prone position athlete lower and lift the upper and lower body with the strength of arms. It can be performed by making a bend in the elbows while lowering the body towards the ground, after reaching near the surface slow rise to the starting position is needed to complete one pushup.

Muscles pushups work for

Pushup works for almost all middle-body muscles. The primary targeted muscles of pushups are the chest and triceps. Here is the list of muscles that get pump during the pushups:

  1. Chest muscles
  2. Triceps
  3. Shoulders
  4. Back
  5. Biceps
  6. Forearms
  7. Abs
  8. Smalls muscles of hands

Types of pushups

Pushups have many types and variations. It is an exercise which is suitable for beginner to pro athlete. There are some easy pushup exercises and some are hard to perform. No athlete in this world is eligible to say that he can perform every type of pushup with ease. Some pushups are hard to perform like two-finger pushup (bruce lee pushups) which is not child play for the ordinary athlete.

I have mentioned regular pushup type, here are some other types of pushups that peoples like to perform during their workout routines:

Knuckle pushups

Knuckle pushups are performed by using hands knuckles instead of palms. While performing the common pushups peoples use hand palms to lift and lower the body but in this knuckles are used for this purpose.

To perform this exercise you need to regular pushup position but your body should be lifted and lower with the help of your knuckles. So put the backhand knuckle on the floor and perform the pushups just like main-type pushups.

These types of pushups are famous in fighters. In karate and taekwondo academies students perform knuckle pushups to enhance the strength and punching capabilities of the hand. This exercise is also famous in mixed martial arts athletes and boxers who love this exercise as it increases their knockout punch power.

Indian pushups

In India, pushups are generally known as “dand”. Pushups are present in Indian culture for centuries. “Dand” word is very common in Indian and Pakistani pehlwani and kabaddi culture. High numbers of dands show the strength of pehlwan. Bruce Lee who was a fan of Great Gama was highly impressed by the Indian push-up and he calls it by his own given name “cat stretch”.

Indian pushup is a body stretch type exercise in which a person stretches the body in a different position.

Two-finger push-up

Two-finger pushups are famous because bruce lee used to do these. It is one of the hardest pushup types which has high injury risks. Unlike the main pushups type, only two fingers are used to lift the body weight.

Some peoples make this exercise more hard by using only one hand and its two fingers. As bruce lee was lightweight and strong that is why he was able to perform these pushups with ease. There are many finger fracture cases in which peoples have broken their fingers while performing two-finger pushups.

Backhand pushup

This is the opposite variation of main-type pushups. Hand palms are used in the regular pushups but in these back of the hands are used to lift the body.

This exercise is also risky, especially for overweight peoples. Hand pain or fracture in joints can occur while performing them. Perform them with caution.

One-arm pushup

Generally, peoples uses both arms to perform pushups but in this exercise, only one arm is needed to lift the body weight. To perform this go in the prone position, put one hand palm on the surface and lift and lower your body with the strength of one arm. You may do some reps if you have good fitness.

Bench pushup

These types of pushups are performed while putting both legs up from the surface on a bench and hands on the floor. Lower and raise your body with your arms strength. These pushups are less risky but caution is needed.

Narrow grip pushups

In these types, a narrow grip is needed to perform the exercise. As compared to regular pushups hands during this type remain near each other. A variation of Narrow pushups is also called diamond pushups. These are one of the most effective pushups that target primary target triceps and chest muscles.

Wide grip pushup

Unlikely narrow grip, wide grip pushups are performed by making a wide grip on the ground. This exercise mainly targets chest and shoulder muscles. To perform them make your hand grip wider than your shoulder width and lift your body as you lift in the regular pushup.

Single legged pushup

This is also an interesting type of pushups. Not so difficult you can make repetition easily if you have some experience in regular pushups. To perform it lift one leg off the floor and use both hands and one leg in supporting and lifting your body.

Knee push-ups

These pushups are one of the easiest pushups which may be performed by the least fit person. Not too much struggle is required to perform knee pushup as both knees and arms support you to lift the body.

To perform knee pushup put both knees on the ground and go in the prone position and lift your body with the support of both arms and knees

Weighted pushups

In other types of pushups, you lift your body weight while performing the exercise but in weighted pushups, athletes lift some additional weights along with the body weight. A dumbbell and weight plate can be used to perform this exercise.

Top perform weight plate pushups go to the regular prone position and ask your buddy to put a weight plate or dumbbell on your back. Other process is the same just lift your body along with extra weight just like you do in regular pushups. Use less weight as heavyweight may increase your risks of back pain and injuries.

Clap pushups

Clap push is one of the interesting and strange types of exercise. In this exercise, a person claps with both hands as he lifts the body after lowering it. Performing procedure is the same as regular pushup but you may need to lift yourself with some force so you can get some seconds to make a clap.

Planche pushups

These are hard to perform. In planche, pushup person uses only both hands, not legs to lift and lower the body. Planche pushups are not easy. Even peoples who have well-experienced like athletes may also face difficulties while performing the planche pushups.

To perform planche pushups lift your both legs from the floor and use your both hands to lower and raise the body.

Wall pushup

Here comes some easiest pushups that can be performed by everyone. Almost every non-disabled people can perform some repetitions of wall pushups easily.

To perform wall pushups stand on your feet and put your both hands on a wall. Now bend your elbows and bring your chest towards the wall, after that push the wall and bring your arms in a straight position.

Dumbbell pushup

These types of pushups are performed by using dumbbells or pushup handles or bars. In normal pushup, athletes use the ground to perform the exercise but in dumbbell pushup, you need to make a grip on a pair of dumbbells to perform this effective exercise. You can also use pushup bars or pushup rotating handles to perform. These pushups are very famous in the fitness industry as dumbbell pushups also increase the hand’s grip power.

To perform dumbbell pushups get a pair of dumbbells. Put them on the group parallel to each other and go into a regular pushup prone position. Now make your hand grip on each dumbbell and perform the exercise. For more help check the video.

Incline pushups

Incline pushups are performed by placing hands on some bench or a thing that has some height. These pushups are also very beneficial for the chest, triceps, shoulders, and back muscles. The technique to perform the incline pushups is the same as regular pushups but you need a bench under your hands to perform this muscles boosting exercise. Check the video in which a girl is performing incline pushups.

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