Knee push-ups for beginners (with Video)

Knee push-ups are the easiest and the safest way to strengthen and tone upper body muscles such as the chest, arms, shoulder, and core for beginners.

Knee pushups can work effectively if you’re a beginner and recently decided to get fit. 

If your goal is to build strength, tone muscles, and improve overall physique at home, then check out how to do different forms of beginner knee push-ups at home, in this article.

These push-ups are for them who:

  • is a beginner (male and female)
  • can’t do toe push-ups
  • want to develop strong upper body muscles at home.

Two major reasons why bent knee push-ups are good

  1. Knee push-ups are low-impact strength training, easier to perform, and suitable for all fitness levels, especially for beginners.
  2. Doing kneeling push-ups is the safest and the effective way of toning and strengthening muscles of the upper body, such as the chest, arms, and shoulders.

Three Important tips on how to do knee pushups for beginners

  1. During the knee press ups, your hip stability depends on core and glutes strength. So keeping them tight throughout the movement will help you perform more easily and safely.
  2. Kneel on a mat or folded towel or pillow while doing each form of knee push ups.
  3. Make sure to evenly distribute your body weight (on your knees and hands) to avoid knee or wrist injury.

Muscles worked in different forms of knee press-ups

  1. Chest – The chest is a primary muscle that activated almost every form of pushups, whether you do a pushup on your knees or toes.
  2. Triceps – The triceps “three-headed muscles” located on the back of your upper arms activate the most during the pushups, after the chest.
  3. Core – The muscles of the core are also involved in all forms of knee pushup. Keeping core engaged during the move protects your spine from injury.
  4. Biceps – Certain types of knee pushup forms, such as knuckle pushup, diamond pushup, etc work on the two-headed biceps muscle.
  5. Forearms – Each pushup form involved and strengthen forearm muscles.
  6. Shoulders – The muscles of the shoulders also activate during the different pushup types, such as incline, archer, wide pushup.

The 10 Best Knee Push-ups for Beginners

1. Kneeling Narrow Push-ups

  • On the floor, start with your hands and knees on the ground.
  • Keep your hands shorter than shoulder-width apart so the arms are straight underneath your chest, and make sure your knees are grounded below your hips as well as toes facing inward.
  • Keep your back straight and abdominal muscle tight. That’s the start.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the ground and then press back until your arms are fully straight. That’s one rep.
  • Do as many as you like.
  • Perform each rep in a controlled manner.

2. Kneeling Standard Push-up

Muscle worked: Chest

  • Get on your all fours with your arms are straight below your shoulders and knees stay under your hips.
  • Looking forward, lower your chest toward the floor as low as possible and then push back to the start. This is your one rep.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.

3. Diamond Knee Push-ups

Primary muscle worked: Triceps

Diamond push-up is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your arms especially the triceps region. Moreover, doing diamond push-ups every day also increases muscle mass and one of the best knee push-ups for beginners.

Here are the simple steps to perform knee diamond push-up

  • Sit on your knees, place your hands together on the ground in a triangle shape and make sure your arms are straight below your chest.
  • Keep your feet as usual, with your toes facing inside.
  • Bring your chest low until it comes in ground contact, and then contracting your triceps, extend your arms fully. This is your one reps.
  • Try to perform as many repetitions as you can.

4. Incline Push-up on Knees

Safest, light, and effective, the incline knee pushups are suitable for beginners. Incline kneel down press-up strengthens a couple of muscles at once such as the upper chest, shoulders, and arms.

Steps to do incline knee push-up

  • Sit on your knees in front of a higher object, for example, a chair.
  • Lean your torso forward and place your hands on the chair, shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your elbows, and bring your chest close to the chair and then extend your elbows to return to the start. That’s one rep.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.

5. Kneeling Fingers-in push-ups

  • Get on your all fours, place your hands on the ground in a way that your elbows facing out to the sides and fingers facing each other below your chest.
  • Keep your core tight and body straight from top to the bottom. That’s the setup.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the ground, as low as possible, and then extend your elbows and press back to the start.
  • Perform the desired number of reps and sets.

6. Push-up plus on knees

  • Start with your hands and knees on the ground.
  • Make sure your arms are straight below your shoulders, and knees below your hips, as well as toes facing inside.
  • Bend your elbows and bring your chest down as low as possible and then push yourself up and once your body is straight, push out your back up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds and then return back to the normal position. That’s one repetition.
  • Do as many reps as you like.

7. Kneeling Knuckle Push up

Knuckle push up is one of the best push-up you can do on your knees to strengthen your arms. It’s a good form of knee push ups that a beginner can include in his/her home workout routine.

Here’s the step to perform kneeling knuckle push-up:

  • First of all, close your fist and get on your all fours.
  • Keep your arms straight below your shoulders with your hands are shoulder-width apart, palms facing each other. That’s your starting position.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the floor, as low as possible, and then extend your arms fully to complete one rep.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.
  • You can use a mat or soft clothes to keep your hands on it.

8. Knee-down Forearm to High Plank Pushup

  • Start with your hands and knees on the ground.
  • Keep your arms straight below your shoulders. Like high plank position.
  • Now, lower down onto your left forearm, followed by the right, so you’re in a forearm plank.
  • In the same way, push your left forearm into the ground, followed by the right, to push yourself back to the start. That’s one rep.
  • Repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.

9. Kneeling Wide pushup

  • On your all fours, keep your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your elbows and lower down your chest close to the floor.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds and then press back to the starting position. This is your one rep, do as many as you can do.

10. Knee-down Archer Push-ups

  • With your hands and knees on the ground, keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Maintain a tight core, and lower yourself down until your chest reaches close to the floor.
  • Push through your left hand, bring your shoulder to the right until your left arm is straight while your right arm is bent, with the elbow tucked into your side. Repeat the same steps on the opposite side to complete one rep.
  • Repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.

Are knee pushups effective?

Yes, the knee push ups are effective for toning and strengthening muscles of chest, arms, core, and shoulders. Knee press ups not only activate almost the same muscle as the toe or traditional pushups but also reduces your load – according to recent research published on lesmills.

Some studies also suggested doing pushups are better than many functional exercises such as  bench press or dumbbell press because of multiple muscles activation at once.

How many knee push-ups should I do every day?

You should do 40-100 push-ups every day. However, the number of your daily pushups depends on your strength and physical fitness. If you can do 100 push-ups (a combination of different push-up forms) every day, do it.

Doing push-ups daily can help you tone muscle and build strength in the upper body. However, you can discontinue/reduce pushups reps if you feel pain in your wrist or shoulder.

If you feel discomfort in your knees while performing knee push ups, then try this:

  1. Always use a gym mat or soft clothes for example folded towel or a throw pillow under your knees.
  2. Place your hands firmly on the ground, and check your form. And make sure your upper body weight is equally supported by hands and knees.

Final words

Doing a physical exercise like push-up every day is good for general health. Pushups do not only develop upper body strength but also improve cardiovascular function.

Adding other types of bodyweight exercises with knee push-ups can work more efficiently for beginners than only doing knee-down press-ups – in my opinion.

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