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The Pushup is amazing for the body. It is a compound exercise that activates most upper body muscles. Primordially, it challenges the chest along with the triceps, shoulders, and biceps, but the core muscles are also activated.

A variation of the standard push-up is the staggered pushup, which uses a different hand positioning. Staggered pushups are more advanced than standard pushups as they incorporate more core, shoulder, and tricep stability. They demand more strength from the rotator cuffs and build lean muscle in the shoulders, chest, and triceps.

Staggered pushups require and increase core stabilization, as well as the involvement of the glutes which help support the whole muscle chain. For optimal performance of the staggered pushup, it is best to engage all muscles involved simultaneously.

How to Do Staggered Pushups

Here’s how to do staggered pushups:

  • Begin in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your legs straight behind you, balancing on your toes.
  • Engage your core muscles to keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Position one hand underneath the shoulder or a little bit higher while the other one is about 6 inches down towards the ribs. The higher hand should be positioned slightly forward of the lower hand.
  • As you inhale, lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows. Keep your elbows close to your body as you descend.
  • Aim to lower your chest between your hands, maintaining a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keep your core engaged throughout the movement to prevent your hips from sagging or picking.
  • As you exhale, push yourself back up to the starting position by straightening your arms, while maintaining control and stability.
  • Switch the position of your hands. Now place the hand that was closer to your ribs underneath the shoulder, and perform the same movement.
  • Keep alternating arms and repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Focus on maintaining proper form throughout the exercise.
  • Keep your body stable by engaging your core muscles.
  • If you find it too challenging to maintain balance, just do a couple of repetitions and go back to a regular pushup.
  • You can also modify by performing the exercise on your knees until you build enough strength and stability.

Staggered Pushup Video Tutorial

In the video, I am performing 22 staggered pushups, as part of #22kill movement. This is a supportive effort for the members of the military since they continue to experience severe mental health issues. People are doing 22 pushups a day for 22 days.

Read a little bit more about the purpose of #22kill (Veteran Support aiming to prevent suicide).  I highly encourage you to join the challenge, spread the word about the movement, and invite friends and family to do so as well!

The staggered pushup is a wonderful multi-joint whole-body exercise that helps improve your overall fitness level. Incorporating staggered pushups into your workout routine can help target different muscles, and improve overall upper body strength, stability, aesthetics, and athleticism.

Remember, whether you want to lose weight, tone your body, or gain strength or size, all muscles must be trained – Lift, Burn more Fat, Get Stronger, & Live Healthier!

To a Fitter Healthier You,

Adriana Albritton

The Fitness Wellness Mentor

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