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How To Do The Knee Push Up Exercise

The knee push up exercise is a great movement for strengthening and toning the chest, shoulders and triceps (back of the upper arms) muscles. It is also a great alternative for those of you have a hard time performing the traditional floor push up. The knee push up uses all the same muscle groups as the traditional floor push up but slightly “lightens the load”. It does this by discounting the amount of weight from your legs that you need to push up. By reducing the amount of body weight your arms and chest need to press, you are in a better position to perform the push up

Personally, I use the knee push up in combination with my resistance band chest fly exercise. I find that by adding in this type of combination allows me to get as much blood into my chest and triceps muscles as possible (which is a good thing). In addition, if you find wall push-ups too easy and traditional floor push-ups too difficult, the knee push up is a great option.   

How to do the knee push up exercise - Starting position

How to do the knee push up - Bottom position

Position for the knee push up exercise

Start by getting on your hands and knees. Move your hands slightly forward while keeping your knees in place. Extend your arms and allow your shoulders to come back and slightly arch your lower back. You should feel your chest muscles contracting. This is your starting position for the knee push up exercise.   

How to perform the knee push up exercise

Slowly bend at your elbows until your face is a few inches from the floor.  Pause for a second or two and slowly press yourself up back up until your arms are fully extended. Repeat as needed.


Breathe in as you bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor and breathe out as you press your body back up into starting position.  

Important points for the push up exercise

·         Keep the movement slow and in control. Lower your body nice and slow, pause for a few seconds at the bottom of the movement and press your body back up using a nice and controlled motion.

·         If you have a yoga or exercise mat, lie that down. Also, if you have bad knees you may want to place a towel under your knee (s) or a piece of foam.

·         Contract your abs as you perform the movement as this will help generate more power

·         Keep your shoulders back and down and keep your back straight. Rounding your back will move your shoulders out of proper position.

Video for the knee push up exercise

Here is a much more challenging method to performing the knee push up. This method uses a technique called "21's". If you're looking for something a little more challenging but not quite ready for regular push ups, try this method.

Related Exercises:

The Wall Push Up Exercise

The Bodyweight Squat Exercise

The Bodyweight Lunge Exercise

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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