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How To Do A Push-Up With Rotation

Benefits, Alternatives, And Muscles Worked Included

By: Zack Mathews, NASM - CPT, CES, & PES. PN-L1

push up with rotation tutorial

The push-up with rotation is an awesome push-up variation that will test you in a fun, new, and unique way.  While traditional push-ups stick to a normal down and up movement pattern, the push-up with rotation gets you moving in multiple directions.

Since we are constantly moving in different planes of motion during our normal day to day life, this exercise has great carryover into the real world.

In this article you’ll learn:

How To Do A Push-Up With Rotation

Form is always the most important factor in doing any push-up to protect your shoulders and to get the most chest activation out of the exercise. 

Follow these steps do during a perfect push-up with rotation:

  • Start in push-up position with your hands and feet on the ground.  Your hands, elbows, and shoulders should all be in line.


  • Keeping your elbows slightly tucked, start bending at the elbow to bring your body to the ground.


  • It’s important that your body stays in a straight line.  Don’t drop your hips to the floor or stretch your neck forward thinking you are getting deeper.


  • At the bottom of the push-up, start pushing your palms into the ground to lift yourself up and straighten out your arms.


  • Once at the top of the push-up, push one palm into the ground and begin rotation the other arm as your rotate your torso and get your body in a t position.  Your should have a straight line from one hand to the other.


  • Rotate back and place your hand on the ground and then switch sides.

What Are The Benefits Of Push-Up And Rotation

Like I mentioned in the introduction, this exericse gets you moving into different planes of motion so you get added benefits including:

  • Core activation to help your body stabilize when rotating.


  • Increased shoulder demand while you are on one arm.


  • Chest, tricep, and shoulder development from the push-up that will improve other big lifts, such as bench press.


  • Improved balance.


  • Hip and torso flexibility from the rotation.

What Muscles Are Being Worked During Push-Up Rotations

During the push-up portion, you will see developments in strength and muscle in your chest, shoulder, and triceps.  With the added rotation that this exercise presents, you’ll be working your core, hips, and rear deltoids.

Push-Up Rotation Alternatives

pushup with rotation alternatives

Regression from push-up with rotation

If you can’t do a full push-up but want to have the benefits of the core, hip, and shoulder activation, skip the push-up portion.

You’ll start in high plank position and rotate on both sides to complete 1 rep.

Progression from push-up with rotation

There is a way to make this exercise harder to get more work on your chest and triceps.  The only difference is that instead of doing both side rotations with 1 push-up, you’ll add an additional push-up between each rotation.

It would look like this:

  • Push-up
  • One side rotation
  • Push-up
  • Other side rotation
  • That’s 1 rep

Versus the original looked like this:

  • Push-up
  • One side rotation
  • Other side rotation 
  • That’s 1 rep

That extra volume with the additional push-up can help you build more muscle in your chest, triceps, and shoulders.