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Learn How to Do Clap Push Ups to Boost Your Upper Body Power

    clap push ups guide


    Do you want to improve the explosive power of your upper body? Do you do a martial art and want to improve the strength of your punches? Or are you searching for a sort of all in one plyometric exercise? Then, you should consider adding clap push ups to your chest workouts.

    It does not seem to be hard to do, but if you are not careful and powerful enough, you may end up with your teeth smashing into the floor. This plyo exercise requires fast and explosive power to be performed correctly. And just imagine how tough those guys are who can do two or even three claps while they are in the air.

    Push ups with claps is an excellent activity to improve the strength and speed of your entire upper body including your chest, triceps and shoulders.

    Did you know? The world record is 90 reps in minute. Amazing, isn’t it?

    From this guide you will learn all the secrets of doing clapping push ups such as:

    • what you need to pay attention to;
    • how to get rid of fear;
    • how to perform it correctly;
    • what kind of other exercises you need to do to develop;
    • and what sorts of variations are there.



    Before Doing Anything

    Firstly, be careful with it! When you land on the floor, it puts an immense stress on the joints of your wrists, elbows and shoulders. So, always warm up before. Never make this move with cold muscles to avoid injuries.

    What if I’m Afraid of Landing on the Floor?

    You are not alone. That is why I did not do it for long. But since I knew is is so beneficial I had to get rid of my fear with some tricks.

    For example, I started doing it in an elevated position. I used a higher chair, then a lower one and as I got the confidence, I went lower and lower. Then, when I was on the floor, I put a small pillow in front of me in the case of falling or I did it outside on a soft grassy ground.

    Anyway, just decide to do it and visualize yourself being successful.

    What Is the Correct Form and Additional Exercises for Success

    Watch the video below to learn the clap pushups progression and how to do this move correctly.


    The two most important factors of doing a push up with clap are speed and to press yourself as high as possible. Maybe the previous one is the most vital. In case  you cannot push yourself high enough, you will not have time to clap your hands.

    So, if you cannot make any yet, then you should start with traditional plyometric push ups, without clapping your hands.

    However, all other types of press up version can help you to get ready for it, especially the diamond and one arm push ups. Also, triceps exercises such as extensions and dips can help as well.

    Recommended: The biggest list of push up variations you have ever seen.

    Clap push ups variations

    Once, you are able to do 8-10 or more correct plyo push ups, it is time to try more challenging practices. And there are many cool ones out there.

    You may start with doing more claps, 2 or 3. For that, you ill have to push yourself really high and increase your speed.

    To go one step even further do side touch or even better clap push up behind back.

    Wasn’t enough? Just check out the following video for more clapping and other variations.


    How Many Reps and Sets

    If you are able to do at least 30 traditional push ups, I believe you are already strong enough to start training for those clapping movements.

    Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 explosive push ups, 4-5 sets of one arm push ups as many reps as you can, and do the mentioned additional exercises for your triceps such as extensions and dips. Training 3-4 times a week will do depending on your fitness level. You do not even have to go to the gym as you can do these exercises at home.

    Recommended: Give an extra boost to your press ups! Get a stand for push ups.


    What are the clap push ups benefits?

    This exercise is an excellent way to develop the strength of your chest muscles, and, well, your entire upper body. If you do a bench press, you can lift more because of the explosive power. In case you do any martial art for example boxing, you will be able to punch much stronger for the same reason. Also, because it is a compound move, it will boost your endurance as well which is crucial for any sports.


    Clap push ups muscles worked | Credit:


    Will I have a bigger chest?

    Yes, just imagine how mush power is required from your chest to push your body to such a level. I’m sure it leads to muscle growth. However, there are better exercises for this purpose for example bench press.

    Are they bad for you?

    Keep in mind this is an intermediate/advanced level activity, so it requires routine and existing muscle strength. And when you land on the floor it puts pressure on your shoulders, elbows ans wrists. So, never done it without a through warm up to avoid injuries. I had problems with my wrist, but I trained them and now I do not feel the pain. Also, prepare for it with burpees.

    Did you like this clap push up training guide? Don’t forget to share with your friends.


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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