How I use fingertip push-ups to build forearm, triceps and pecs strength at home

Elevate your bodyweight workout game with a push up variation that smokes your forearm and builds arm strength

Man doing push ups in his home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The push up is one of the best bodyweight exercises you can use to get fit and build muscle. There are so many push up variations, it's impossible not to find one that works best for you. My new favourite is the fingertip push up because it works my forearms as well as my triceps and pecs. Big arms, here I come!

Learning how to do push-ups is an essential skill for any self-respecting adult. It's one of those bodyweight workouts that you can do anywhere, anytime, and helps build muscle (and self-confidence) almost the same way bench press does. But unlike the bench press, you don't need any equipment to do push-ups.

Want to build big arms? Here are the best tricep exercises with dumbbells, as recommended by a top fitness expert, plus the best full-body dumbbell workout that will elevate your home workouts to the next level. If you want to find out how fit you are instead, these 7 exercises can test and improve your fitness anywhere.

Fingertip push ups: gains at your fingertips

Fingertip push-ups might not be anyone's first choice for a bodyweight workout. After all, the thought of having to balance your weight on your fingertips doesn't sound too appealing. Or maybe it does, if you like when your forearms feel all fluffy with exhaustion.

This is the exact reason why I chose fingertip push-ups to spice up my push day workouts. After a while, standard push-ups feel a bit boring and worse still, doing the same exercise over and over again might stall workout progress. Using this variation, my muscles have to respond slightly differently, moving them out of their comfort zone and into the mass-building zone where I want them to be.

Most importantly, fingertip push-ups do wonders for your forearms. You can use dumbbells or pull-up bars to build forearm strength; I particularly like dead hangs for the purpose of increasing forearm strength, hence why I included it in my workout routine to ease back pain.

However, fingertip push-ups are better than dead hangs in the sense that it doesn't require any external equipment, not even parallettes, a home gym equipment I always recommend to reduce wrist pain during push-ups.

How to do fingertip push-ups

You perform fingertips push-ups similarly to standard push-ups. The difference is, instead of resting your weight on your palms, you raise your hands and balance yourself on your fingertips.

To clarify, we aren't talking about a Buddhist monk-style one finger push-up; use all ten fingers for this exercise. If it feels uncomfortable, feel free to put your knees down and perform knee-fingertip push-ups. That version also works the forearm, albeit less intensely.

Make sure you brace your core before you start bending the elbows and don't let those elbows flare out as your chest approaches the floor: keep them at an approximately 45-degree angle.

This feature is part of T3's Get Fit 2022 (opens in new tab) campaign. We’ll be bringing you a wealth of guides, features, deals and news to help you get healthy, fit and ready for anything the new year can throw at you. Whether you’re a newcomer to fitness or someone with a passion for it, we’ll bring you all the best workouts, diet advice and gear to set you on the right track.

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym reviews.