Close-grip push-ups are a variation of the [standard push-up](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/push-ups-guide) that involve placing your hands narrower than shoulder-width apart. This calisthenics exercise works muscle groups throughout your entire body, including your deltoids, pecs, and triceps muscles. Perform close-grip push-ups by placing your palms a few inches apart on the floor and holding yourself in a [high plank](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/high-plank-exercise-guide) position. While keeping your back and legs in a straight line, lower your body toward the floor, then push back up to the starting position.\nFor the close-grip push-up, begin by performing 2–3 sets of 8–15 repetitions. Choose your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout.\n\n1. Get into an all-fours position with your knees and toes flexed and in contact with the floor. Your hips should be over your knees. Your hands should be spaced a few inches apart. Your shoulder blades should be protracted and away from your spine.\n2. Grip the ground with your hands and rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats. Straighten your legs to lift your knees off of the ground so you end up in a high plank position. Your legs should be hip-width apart or close together.\n3. Pre-tension your shoulders and hips with a good inhale and exhale while engaging your core. Your ribs should be down and your pelvis should be slightly tucked. Squeeze your quads and glutes. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. All repetitions should begin from this starting position.\n4. Lower your chest toward your hands by bending your elbows. Your shoulder blades should retract as you lower toward the ground. Lower your body until your upper arms are even with your back. Your elbows should be close to your body. Pause at the bottom of the movement.\n5. While maintaining your alignment, initiate the upward movement by squeezing your chest and straightening your elbows. Your shoulder blades should protract as you push to the top of the movement.\n6. Finish the movement by squeezing your chest and triceps. Repeat for the desired number of reps.\nAdd close-grip push-ups to your upper-body workout to reap several benefits.\n\n1. __Close-grip push-ups build upper-body strength__. Close-grip push-ups target muscle groups like the anterior deltoids in your shoulders, your pectoral chest muscles (pectoralis major), and triceps muscles—specifically the triceps brachii. \n2. __Close-grip push-ups increase core stability__. With proper form, close-grip push-ups activate the stabilizer muscles in your midsection, including your abdominal muscles and lower back muscles. By engaging these stabilizing muscles, close-grip push-ups can improve your posture.\n3. __Close-grip push-ups are versatile__. Close-grip push-ups require no equipment and can be made easier or more challenging with a few subtle variations, making this exercise a great addition to your home workout. \nMake the standard close-grip push-up easier or more challenging with one of these push-up variations.\n\n1. __Knee push-ups__: If you’re new to push-ups, start with an easier variation like the close-grip [knee push-up](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/knee-push-ups-guide). By keeping your knees on the floor during the full range of motion, you put less strain on your arms and lower-body muscles.\n2. __Incline push-ups__: Practice close-grip incline push-ups by placing your hands close together on a bench or other elevated surface. [Incline push-ups](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/incline-push-ups-guide) prioritize your chest muscles, putting less tension on your arms and shoulders.\n3. __Decline push-ups__: Close-grip [decline push-ups](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/decline-push-up-guide) put more focus on your upper pecs than standard push-ups. This advanced variation requires you to elevate your feet on a bench or chair while holding yourself in a close-grip push-up position. \nIf you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.\n\nTo see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.\nThrow on some athleisure, fire up a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com), and get ready to sweat it out with exclusive instructional videos from Nike Master Trainer and *GQ* fitness specialist Joe Holder. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance? Give Joe’s HIIT workout a go. Trying to get a little swole? He’s got a strength training workout for that. From fitness tips to nutrition hacks, Joe will have you feeling healthier in no time.\nBuild muscle in your upper body and increase core strength with the close-grip push-up.