4 Types of dumbbell push-ups to help you get better

dumbbell push-ups

Push-ups have always been our go-to warm-up exercise or maybe sometimes we include in our exercise like doing push-ups after hitting flyers, creating a superset to increase the fatigue on our muscles. Push-ups can be done in many different ways you just have to be creative and because of that reason now we have more than 80 push-ups variations such as archer push-ups, typewriter push-ups, etc. list goes on. We all know the effects/benefits of doing push-ups on the upper body.

Now as the world was forced into a lockdown, people who liked to work out were missing the feeling of workout, and believe me that feeling is important for some people. Push-ups are great because you don’t need any equipment, you can do it anywhere but for the people that love to work out, it wasn’t enough so dumbbell push-ups were a great way to intensify the workout.

Why should you do dumbbell push-ups?

Using a dumbbell while doing push-ups will make your normal push-up exercise into a powerful and intense workout that will help you increase your upper body strength, improve your muscle mass, and to do dumbbell push-ups you need balance and core strength so doing them will also improve your core and body balance.

Dumbell push-ups are also more exciting and challenging when compared to normal push-ups.

Benefits of dumbbell push-ups

When you do dumbbell push-ups you’re targeting more than one muscle at a time. You will be targeting your shoulders, chest, arms, and back while doing so you will start to see positive growth in your targeted muscle and overall growth in your strength.

  • Many dumbbell push-ups variations like dumbbell to row, dumbbell t push-up can help you improve your overall body balance and the particular reason for that is because when performing these variations your one hand along with dumbbell will be in the air, all your body weight will fall onto another hand. At first, you might not be able to do them but with consistency, you will see improvement in your body balance.
  • Holding a dumbbell in the air will surely improve your grip strength. Strong grip strength is one of the important factors when it comes to doing heavy weight training like a deadlift, rack-pull, or chin-ups/pull-ups, etc.
  • Another great benefit would be that it won’t be monotonous rather than that it will be exciting, challenging, and obviously more intense and hard compared to normal push-ups.
  • As dumbbell push-ups target more than one muscle at a time so it will improve your overall push strength and it is also a great way to build muscle mass.
  • When doing dumbbell push-ups you will get more activation in your arms and chest than you normally do and the reason for that is the increase in range of motion and it will result in better blood flow in the muscle.
  • Once you start doing it, regular/normal push-ups get easy for you.

Dumbbell push-ups can be hard because they need more strength and balance but if you can do more than 20 normal push-ups you won’t have any problem doing dumbbell push-ups. If you still find it hard to do then try getting on your knees instead of your toes so that way you can take off some bodyweight that might make it a bit easier for you.

4 types of dumbbell push-ups

As I wrote above there are more than 80 push-ups variations known there can be more or maybe not depends upon one’s creativity so I can’t know about all the dumbbell push-ups so I will write about the 5 dumbbell push-ups variation that I have known off.

  1. Dumbbell T push-ups.
  2. Close grip dumbbell push-ups.
  3. Dumbbell push-ups to row
  4. Dumbbell floor press up

I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do each variation of dumbbell push-ups with its level, muscle targeted, and some benefits.

  1. Dumbbell T push-ups
Dumbbell T push-ups

Dumbbell T push-ups will be responsible for improving your overall strength and endurance. This variation of dumbbell push-ups will be targeting your chest and shoulders and it goes without saying your arms, core, and back also will be engaged.

To do this variation of dumbbell push-ups you just need pair of dumbbells, you don’t have to worry about the shape, circular dumbbell will make this variation even harder. All through the level of this exercise is advanced if you can’t do it, don’t feel bad with proper consistency you will be able to do it.

How to do Dumbbell T push-ups

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and get into the normal push-ups position.
  • Your hands will be placed on dumbbells and put the dumbbells a bit wider than your shoulder-width.
  • Now keep your core, hips, and glutes tight and your back will form a straight line. This will be the starting position of dumbbell T push-ups.
  • Slowly start to bend your elbows and bring down your upper body until your chest is hovering just 2-3 inches of the ground, keep your back straight. Return to the starting position
  • Now lift your right arm along with the dumbbell and your upper body as well will rotate towards the side of the lifting arm.
  • Keep rotating your right arm and body until your right arm is pointing straight towards the ceiling and your body forms the letter, T.
  • Bring your arm back to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and now you have successfully completed one of many reps.
  • As a beginner use lightweight dumbbells so you can maintain proper form and do this movement smoothly.

Benefits of dumbbell T push-ups

  • The movement to complete dumbbell T push-ups is good for your core continuous use of this variation of dumbbell push-ups and you will improvement in your core strength.
  • The movement will also be great for flexibility and body balance.
  • As lifting of the arm is involved it will strengthen your arms and shoulders.
  • It also improves your body posture.

2. Close grip dumbbell push-up

Close grip Dumbbell Push-ups

This variation of dumbbell push-ups is great for the person that wants to target the chest and triceps. Your core, glutes, and back will also be engaged. The level of this exercise is intermediate. You don’t even need a pair of dumbbells for this a single dumbbell and some space will be more than enough.

How to do Close grip dumbbell push-ups

  • Place a dumbbell of your choice on the floor in the standing position.
  • Sit down on your knees so you can grab the head of the dumbbell and get into a normal diamond push-ups position easily.
  • keep your core, glutes, and back engaged. Keep your back straight forming a line. This is your starting position.
  • Slowly start by bending your elbow and keep lowing your upper body with a straight back until your chest touches the dumbbell.
  • Start pressing back until your arm is fully extended. You have completed one rep. At least perform 8 to 12 reps if you can.

Note – Keep in mind as the dumbbell is in a standing position if you won’t apply equal pressure dumbbell will fall and you along with it. You might hurt yourself so when starting try doing this exercise on your knees to make it easier for you and you will also have better control.

Benefits of close grip dumbbell push-ups

  1. You will see improvement in your core and body balance.
  2. Increased strength in the upper body with muscle growth in triceps and chest.
  3. Improvement in grip strength.

3. Dumbbell push-ups to row

Dumbbell Push-ups to row

This variation of dumbbell push-ups is best for strength training it will be targeting your arms, back, core, and chest. To perform this variation you just need pair of dumbbells. The level of this variation is also intermediate.

How to do Dumbbell push-ups to row

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells, it can be circular, hexagonal, whatever you like.
  • Get in the normal push-ups position with your feet placed slightly wider than your hips-width.
  • Place the dumbbells shoulder-width apart with your arms fully extended.
  • Tighten your core, glutes, and keep your back straight forming a straight line. This is your starting position.
  • Start by bending your elbows and lowering your upper body while keeping your back straight. your chest should hover 2-3 inches off the ground.
  • return to the starting position until your elbows are fully extended.
  • Now start to raise your right elbow at the side until the dumbbell is close to your rib. Just like doing single-hand rows.
  • Start lowering your dumbbell down and repeat the same with the left arm.
  • Now you have completed your first rep, at least try to do 6 to 10 reps on each side.

Try doing this exercise with lightweight but if you don’t have any problem doing it in lightweight gradually increase the weight.

Benefits of Dumbbell push-ups to row

  1. This movement works the various muscles in your body simultaneously making it an even better choice if you’re running short on time.
  2. It will strengthen your muscle and core while promoting muscle growth.
  3. It will improve your body balance.
  4. This exercise is said to improve your metabolism rate so eventually aiding you to burn more calories, more studies are need on this subject.

4. Dumbbell floor press-ups

Dumbbell Floor press-ups

We all get bored of simply just pushing our body for a change this time you will be pushing dumbbells towards the ceiling. The level of this exercise is beginner, it can go from beginner to intermediate depending upon the weights you use.

The main muscles that will are going to be targeted are the chest and triceps. Like any other dumbbell push-ups exercise, any pair of dumbbells will be enough.

How to do dumbbell floor press-ups

  • lay down o the mat or on the ground with your chest facing the ceiling.
  • Hold a pair of dumbbells above the floor and keep your body straight from head to toe.
  • Position your dumbbells slightly wider than your shoulder width. That is your starting position.
  • Tighten your core and form an arch with your back and push the dumbbells towards the ceiling until your elbows are fully extended.
  • As you’re extending your elbows bring dumbbells close to each other and squeeze your chest muscle.
  • Slowly start to bring dumbbells to the starting position.
  • Now you have completed one rep.

If it is easy for you, try doing it with heavyweights and at least try to do 10 to 14 repetitions.

Dumbbell floor press-ups benefits

The dumbbell floor press-ups will give you the same benefits as doing bench press with a dumbbell. So to enjoy such benefits do this variation of dumbbell push-ups.

Standard dumbbell push-ups (Honorable mention)

After all, we are talking about dumbbell push-ups this article wouldn’t be complete by the variation of dumbbell push-ups that almost every one of us has done once. Standard dumbbell push-ups are exactly the same as your normal push-ups the only change would be instead of floor your hands will be gripped on the dumbbell.

The muscle targeted in this variation of dumbbell push-ups will be the arm & chest. The level of this exercise would be beginner if you can’t do normal push-ups then intermediate. Any dumbbell will do but I would suggest picking heavier dumbbells to have extra space between your hands and floor that way you’ll be able to hit more depth.

How to do standard Dumbbell push-ups

  • Grab a pair of your favorite dumbbells, place them on the floor slightly wider than the shoulder width.
  • Make sure you have a tight grip on the dumbbells with your hand. Your palms will be facing each other.
  • Tighten your core, glutes, and back straight. That’s your starting position.
  • Start bending your elbows and start lowering your chest as close as you can to the ground.
  • Bring your back into the starting position, That will be counted as one complete rep.

Benefits of standard dumbbell push-ups

  • This variation of push-ups will be great for your chest, it will allow your pecs to engage even more.
  • It will promote muscle growth and boost overall strength. That will be helpful as you advance into lifting heavyweights.


All these dumbbell push-ups are good for you to build overall strength and you can do them in the luxury of your home with that keep your protein intake right and follow your diet if you want to lose weight eat low-calorie dense food. These variations of dumbbell push-ups are good for you but don’t just rely on them try various bodyweight training methods to intensify your home workout like hitting the chest with calisthenics.