Tired of performing the traditional push-up?

Try out one of the three different variations of the Atlas Pushup to keep challenging your body.

We will cover the traditional Atlas Push-Up (hands elevated).

Version two where your hands and feet both get raised when you are performing it.

Finally, version three will have your body in a declined position. Your feet should be inclined at a height approximately double the height you have raised your hands.

The higher your feet get placed, the more percentage of your bodyweight will be used when lifting.

The distance you separate your feet from one another can be used to alter this exercises difficulty level.

The closer you move your feet to each other the harder your core muscles have to work to stabilize your body. There is also higher core activation with the higher your feet are inclined.

Atlas Push-Ups are a calisthenic compound pushing exercise. It gets rated at an intermediate difficulty level.

Equipment Required

For the traditional version, you will need two separate raised platforms.

These can be anything from chairs, benches to cinder blocks,

The other two versions will require a third platform for your feet.

You can also use a weighted vest to further increase thew difficulty when performing them.

Atlas Push Ups How to Guide

All three variations use the same technique the only difference is the height that you are going to place your feet.

Foot Position

Variation 1: For the traditional version you will have your feet placed on the floor.

Variation 2: For the second version you need to have your feet raised to the same height as your hands.

Variation 3: With the final version place your feet at least twice as high as your hands are.

Image Examples

Variation 1

How to do traditional Atlas Push-Up exercise

Variation 2

How to do Advanced Atlas Push-Up exercise

Variation 3

How to do Decline Atlas Push-Ups

Step by Step Description

Step 1: Place 2 raised platforms approximately 18 to 26 inches apart. Place the palms of your hands onto the platforms with your fingers pointing forwards. Your arms should get extended with a slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart.

Step 2: Put your feet together and press your toes against the floor.

Step 3: Inhale and bend at the elbows lowering your body. Keep lowering your body and go as low as comfortably possible between the platforms to get the enhanced range of motion. Remember to keep your body forming a straight line from the head to your heels.

Step 4: Pause in the bottom position for one to two seconds.

Step 5: Breathe out and contract the chest muscles pushing off of the platforms returning to the raised position.

You have now completed one repetition. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Muscles Worked

Variation 1:

The primary muscles worked when using the first variation of the Atlas Push-Up are your Triceps, Upper Back (the latissimus dorsi) and your Lower Pectorals.

This variation has the highest focus on your back compared to the others.

Variation 2:

The primary muscles worked when you use the second variation are your Triceps, Shoulders and the Middle of your Pectorals.

While your Upper Back is still worked with this variation, it is to a much lesser extent.

You will also be lifting a higher percentage of your bodyweight.

Variation 3:

Like the other two variations, this exercise will work your Triceps, Front of the shoulders and the Pectorals.

This variation has you lift the highest percentage of your bodyweight.

It also has the highest focus on your upper chest and the front shoulders (delts) than the others.

All three versions will also work your abdominal muscles as an isometric exercise. The closer together your feet are and the higher they are raised the more stress placed on your abdominals.


Atlas Pushups have a higher range of shoulder movement compared to the traditional push-up.

The greater range of motion makes the exercise more challenging and efficient than the traditional push-up.

It helps you to increase your functional strength. Functional strength will make everyday activities easier for you to perform.

Training Tips

When you move into the Push-Up position, squeeze your core and glutes and create a straight line from head to heel.

Your body should be held in this position the entire time you are performing this exercise.

When you lower your body, you need to inhale. When pushing your body upwards, you need to exhale forcefully.


Atlas Push-ups are a useful calisthenic exercise to keep you progressing with the push-up.

Another way to keep increasing the difficulty of all these variations is to use a weighted vest.

You should have a solid understanding and technique with the traditional push-up before moving up to any of these variations.

If you are new to performing Atlas push-ups, you should begin with the first variation and slowly progress to the third.

Looking to gain more strength or lose some weight? We offer free fitness tools to help you reach your fitness goals. Register for free while we are in beta and get free lifetime access to our fitness tools that include an easy to use Calorie Counter, High-Intensity Interval Timer, Multiple Fitness Calculators and our Exercise Logger.