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Differences Between Military Push-ups vs. Standard Push-ups

When it’s time to focus on physical fitness and get back into shape, push-ups often come to mind. They are also a form of exercise that people tend to dread.

It’s one thing to do curls, go for a jog do sit-ups or some other form of exercise, but using your upper body strength to lift your entire body weight is not most people’s cup of tea.

About the only thing worse is a pull-up. Group that with the fact that there are different types of push-ups, too. Have you heard of military push-ups?

military push up vs standard push up

If you have been through basic training, you have heard of military push-ups for sure

People that go through martial arts training and play certain sports also often experiment with different types of push-ups.

There are more than just standard push-ups and military push-ups, but those are the two main types. What are the differences between them?

There are differences, but it should be mentioned that there are also many similarities

The goals of this exercise are of course going to be the same. When you do push-ups, what are you working out?

You are working out your chest, and you are also giving your triceps and shoulder muscles a workout as well.

Plus, the idea, in general, is to workout those muscles for upper body strength, as well as stamina and endurance.

Do you know how to do standard push-ups correctly?

You may laugh at that question, but not everyone knows proper positioning and technique.

And, while there are similarities when it comes to the standard push-up and the military push-up, we still need to look at the differences.

Yes, they accomplish the same goals, but as you might have expected, the military push-ups are a little bit more difficult.

It should also be mentioned that not all branches of the military have the same form of push-ups.

So not only are there differences between military push-ups vs. standard push-ups, but there are also differences in form among the various branches of the military.

The differences deal with not just body positioning but also a range of motion as well.

Let’s talk about hand positioning for a moment in regards to military push-ups

Marines are expected to have their hands directly under their shoulders when doing push-ups. That’s one of the differences between military push-ups vs. standard push-ups.

military push ups vs standard push ups

The expectation for having one’s hands under his or her shoulders, however, only applies to the Marines and not any other branch of the military.

There are also differences in feet placement

The positioning varies from keeping your feet 12 inches apart to keeping your feet close together. That’s basically all the differences in regards to both feet positioning and hand positioning.

Let me tell you a story first though before we look more closely at military push-ups vs. standard push-ups and their differences.

When I was younger, I had four uncles in the military. The two on my mom’s side would always visit us and tell us stories.

One of my uncles was showing me a form of a push-up that I’ll call the diamond push-up. I always assumed he learned it in the military, but it could have been that he learned it studying martial arts.

As mentioned, there are also other variations of the standard push-up, and this diamond push-up is supposed to be the toughest.

To do a diamond push-up, you place your hands directly underneath your body, and you form a diamond with your hands. The feet are positioned close together.

Lifting your body to do one of these push-ups is much more difficult than military push-ups vs. standard push-ups. Have you ever tried one of those?

If not, I challenge you now to give one a try. They aren’t easy for sure.

You might not like the diamond push-ups too much, especially just starting out

However, the more upper body strength you develop, the better you will be able to do them. For now, stick with a standard push-up until you build up your upper body strength and stamina.

Or let’s say you plan to enter the military soon. Do you know what branch you are going to join? If you know the branch of the military that you plan to join, you can study the push-up form for that branch to proficiency.

Let’s say that you want to join the Marines. You already know that your hands need to be directly underneath your shoulders.

You will want to know how the Marines specifically position their feet, and you will want to be sure that you get the form just right.

military pushups vs standard pushups

If you aren’t joining the military, you don’t have to worry about military push-ups and can just stick with the standard form.

You will want to make still sure that you get the form right though. Plus, you can still practice military push-ups if you want to without having plans to join a branch of the military.

They will be challenging. And ultimately, you can even try the biggest challenge of all, the diamond push-up.

If you get to where you can do sets of diamond push-ups daily, you will have really accomplished building upper body strength.

You can also do other exercises to build upper body strength that might not be such a big sigh of a task as push-ups are right now.

As you build upper body strength, push-ups aren’t that bad either. You just have to perfect the positioning and get used to doing push-ups daily.

Final Thoughts On Military Push-ups vs. Standard Push-ups

Are you ready to give push-ups a try? If you want to be able to do them easier, start a daily regimen and take it one step at a time.

Keep a little workout journal and do other exercises to build upper body strength so that you can do more push-ups.

As you get ready to take on push-ups daily, the right motivation and drive will one day have you doing sets of 20, 30 and who knows, maybe even more.