Knee Push-Ups: Muscles Worked, How To Do, Form & Benefits

Knee push-ups are one of the most effective beginner-friendly upper-body exercises to build functional strength.

Knee push-ups are a good way to start if you have trouble doing the standard push-ups. The exercise reduces the amount of body weight you are lifting. 

It is a great way to strengthen your chest muscles and train your shoulders and triceps.

Incorporating kneeling push-ups into your exercise routine can help to build additional strength and muscle mass and improve weak areas in your shoulders.

In this post, we’ll break down proper knee push-up techniques, common mistakes to avoid, modification options, and how to progress the exercise over time.

So grab a mat and read on to master the knee push-up!

What Is Knee Push-Ups

The knee push-up, also known as a modified type push-up, is a bodyweight exercise that works the muscles throughout your upper body.

The kneeling push-up is a brilliant chest exercise for beginners. If you’re having trouble performing a standard push-up, practice an easier push-up variation, the bent knee push-up.

Bent Knee push-ups are among the most fundamental and rewarding exercises that one can perform.

The Knee Push-up is one of the greatest conditioning exercises for the outdoor athlete; it can be performed regardless of where you are, and, best of all, they are completely free—no expensive equipment or no annual gym fees required.

If you’re new to doing push-ups, you may want to make the exercise easier by making a few changes. One way to overcome this issue is to perform a bent knee push.

You can also try incline or wall push-ups to master other beginner-level push-up variations.

Knee Push Up
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Muscles Worked During Knee Push-Ups

The knee push-ups are a bodyweight workout that targets various muscle groups.

The primary muscles worked during knee push-ups include:

The secondary muscle groups involved in this exercise are.

Stabilizing Muscles Worked:

Muscles Worked During Knee Push-Ups

How To Do Knee Push Up

Proper form is essential to reaping knee pushups’ strength-building and muscle-toning benefits. This ensures that you work the right upper body muscles safely with each rep.

Before starting your workout, ensure you know how to do them properly. With a few changes, you can achieve positive changes in the strength and size of the chest, triceps, and shoulder.

Use it as your go-to reference anytime your technique needs a refresher.

Correct Position

  • Start by bending your knees on a soft but firm surface, such as a yoga or cushioned mat.
  • Place your hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Ensure your knees are together or slightly apart, based on what’s comfortable for you.

Align Your Body

  • Straighten your back to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles to engage your core.
  • Your head should be level and your eyes should look slightly ahead instead of directly down.

Lowering Down

  • Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body towards the ground. Inhale while doing it.
  • Keep your elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your body.
  • Lower yourself until your chest or chin nearly touches the floor.

Pushing Up

  • Exhale as you push through your hands to raise your body back to the starting position.
  • Using your chest, shoulders, and arms to lift yourself up would be best.
  • Avoid locking your elbows at the top of the movement.
  • Do 8-12 and 3–4 sets.
  • As you build strength, gradually increase the number of repetitions and sets.
How To Do Knee Push Up

Proper Form And Tips For Knee Push Ups

Follow the proper foam and techniques to get the most out of this move.

  • Perform 2–3 sets of 6–8 repetitions for the knee push-ups. Add more reps and sets as you build strength.
  • When doing kneeling push-ups, always use a mat or carpet instead of a bare floor.
  • Choose the exercises as per your fitness levels. Also, select your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.
  • Always keep the elbows slightly bent. Locking your elbows at the top of the movement puts too much stress on the joints and can lead to strain or injury.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag or lift too high, as this can strain your lower back unnecessarily.
  • Pay extra attention to your form and emphasize quality over quantity to improve your upper-body strength.
  • Ensure your lower back is not arching or your hips are not rising. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Stay focused on your form and slow down all your movements.
  • Remember to breathe consistently: inhale on the way down and exhale on the push-up.
  • Your neck should be aligned with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.
  • Incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program to see continual progress and build body strength.
  • Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient muscle recovery.
Knee push-up

Knee Push-Ups Benefits

The benefits of regularly performing knee push-ups include:

  • Knee Push-ups put far less stress on your wrist and significantly reduce the amount of body weight you are lifting.
  • It’s perfect for beginners, anyone doing upper body and shoulder rehab, or older people who need to build upper body strength.
  • Doing a bent knee push-up can be a powerful full-body workout and help to burn more calories.
  • It will improve your metabolism, help you burn more fat, and make you look lean.
  • Push-ups will improve the strength of the upper body and strengthen both muscles and bones.
  • One of the benefits of knee push-ups is that they work multiple upper-body muscles at once.
  • One advantage of push-ups is that they can also enhance the cardiovascular system by making your heart work harder.
  • A beginner can easily do knee push-ups at home without any special equipment. All you need is the appropriate technique and determination.
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Best Variations and Modification of Knee Push Up

One of the great things about knee push-ups is that they can be easily tweaked to suit different fitness levels and goals.

Changing your hand position, angle, range of motion, and more can either make the exercise easier for newbies or push it harder to keep gaining muscle.

The best knee push-up easy modifications and more advanced variations will be shown in this section.

1. Diamond Knee Push-Up

The diamond push-up is a brilliant beginner exercise for developing the triceps brachii.

It is a variation of the traditional knee push-up, where the hand placement forms a diamond shape.

Diamond push-up on knees

How To Do Diamond Knee Push-Ups

  1. Kneel on a mat and place your hands on the floor.
  2. Your hands should be positioned in such a way as to create a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Keep your body straight and rigid and your elbows close to your body.
  4. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows, bringing your chest towards the hands.
  5. Exhale as you extend your elbows and push your body back up to the starting position.

Proper Form

  • Ensure your hands are correctly positioned to form a diamond shape.
  • Keep your elbows tucked into your body.
  • Keep your body straight and rigid.

2. Incline Knee Push-Ups

Knee incline push-ups are a modified version of the traditional push-up that is easier to perform and puts less stress on the shoulders.

The incline position reduces the amount of bodyweight you’re lifting. It is a great starting point for beginners or those with limited upper body strength.

Incline Knee Push-Ups

How To Do Knee Incline Push-ups

  1. Place your hands on an elevated surface slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Kneel on the ground so your body forms a straight line from your knees to your head.
  3. Slowly lower your chest towards the elevated surface while inhaling.
  4. Reverse the motion when you’ve almost touched the board, and push yourself up to straight arms again while exhaling.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Proper Form

  • Use a stable and sturdy surface for your hands to ensure safety.
  • The movement should be smooth and controlled.
  • Start with a higher incline if you’re a beginner, and gradually lower the incline as you gain strength.

3. Hindu Knee Push-Up

The Hindu push-up, also known as the dands or downward dog push-up, is a dynamic bodyweight exercise that combines strength, flexibility, and mobility.

Knee Hindu push-ups are great for beginners to build upper body strength and improve flexibility.

It is a full-body exercise that works the chest, shoulders, triceps, core, and back.

Beginner Hindu Knee Push Up

How To Do Beginner Hindu Push-Ups

  1. Start in a downward dog position with your feet hip-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your head and chest towards the ground, while keeping your hips high and your elbows close to your body.
  3. In a scooping motion, scoop your head upward while arching your lower and upper back and go into a cobra pose.
  4. Return to the starting position; you do not need to reverse back through the sweeping, arching motion.
  5. Repeat for 10–12 repetitions.

Proper Form

  • Engage your core, relax the spine and neck, open the shoulders, and keep the movement smooth.
  • Breathe evenly throughout the movement.

6 Best Knee Push-Ups Variations That You Can Do At Home

Knee vs. Regular Push-ups

Standard Push-ups are a compound strength-training exercise that involves raising and lowering the body using the arms while facing down in a prone, horizontal position.

A knee push-up is similar to a standard push-up, with your knees in contact with the floor. Keeping your knees on the floor reduces the weight you need to lift to complete the motion while retaining many push-up benefits.

If the standard, full-motion push-up is outside your comfort level, starting with a knee push-up is a good way to build up your fitness and strength. Knee push-ups still strengthen the chest, shoulders, and triceps, helping you build your fitness without doing a traditional push-up.

You can do wall push-ups and incline-ups along with bent knee push-ups, reducing stress on your shoulders, arms, and back. Alternative exercises, like this one, still build strength over time.


how many knee push-ups a day

There’s no limit to how many knee push-ups you can do daily. The number of knee push-ups you do daily depends on your fitness level. You should start with push-ups on your knees if you are a beginner.

I recommend doing 8–20 push-ups a day. But do not stick to this number. It is important to keep increasing the number to challenge your body.

Why are knee push-ups easier?

Knee push-ups are easier than normal push-ups because they are done on the knees. Keeping your knees on the floor makes pushing-ups easier because you don’t have to lift as much weight.

Are knee push-ups effective?

Yes, knee push-ups are the best and most effective way to progress to the next level.

  • The movement pattern is similar to a normal push-up but easier. It is working the same muscles.
  • It allows you to work in a higher rep range, which is much more comfortable for beginners.
  • Progression is easy because of it. Instead of trying something totally new, try making a slight adjustment that makes the exercise a little more difficult. 

The knee push-up is a beginner-friendly exercise that trains the upper body, strengthens the core, and increases metabolic rate.


Bent Knee push-ups are a great exercise for beginners to include in their strength-training program.

Kneeling push-ups activate multiple muscle groups throughout your upper body, including your anterior deltoids, pectoralis major, and triceps.

It is a great way to start working out your upper body. Once you have mastered the knee push-up, try doing a standard push-up.


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