Push up Challenge: How to Strengthen Fingers for Finger Push Ups

Updated on February 8, 2019
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Michael is an online fitness writer who's an expert in strength training exercises.

How to Do Finger Push Ups

Put your fingers on the floor and form a strong base. They should be bent and spread out. Imagining the claws of an eagle can help. The next step is to slowly get into the raised push up position. Gradually increase the weight to make sure your fingers can take it. When you are ready you can start doing push ups. Try to keep the pace slow and steady.

It is a simple change but they are one of the hardest push up variations. Knowing the technique is not enough. You also need to know how to progress to fingertip push ups. After months of working out my arms I could not even do 1 finger push up. Then I discovered an easy way to get good at doing them without doing them.

Finger push ups.
Finger push ups. | Source

How to Do Finger Push Ups Without Hurting Your Fingers

Most people can not do a single push up on their fingers. The first thing I noticed when I tried was that it felt like my fingers were going to break. When an exercise hurts that much you should stop. Do not even try to do them if it feels like your muscles are going to give out right away. To do finger push ups without hurting your fingers you need to strengthen your fingers and forearms first.

You could get in shape by doing a 100 push ups a day challenge for endurance or a 10 push ups a day challenge for strength. The problem is most of the exercises that focus on your chest, triceps or biceps do not work your forearms enough.

How to Strengthen Your Fingers

You could strengthen your fingers by doing easier finger push up variations. Reduce the amount of body weight you are lifting by doing them at an incline or on your knees. When doing them on your knees is too easy try doing them at an incline with your hands higher than your legs. As your fingers get stronger work towards doing harder variations. If you do them at the bottom of the stairs you could start on the 4th or 3rd step and work your way down.

Another option is to focus on strengthening your forearms. I started doing a quick forearm workout to increase the size of my forearms. After a few weeks I tried doing push ups on my fingers to test my forearm strength. That is how I discovered that it was really easy to get good at doing finger push ups without doing them.

The first time I tested my forearm strength I did 2 reps. It was easier than I thought it would be and it did not hurt. The third time I tested my strength I could do 6. On the 5th attempt I could do 10 finger push ups. I kept doing my forearm workout. Now I can do 9 in a row while wearing a weighted backpack.

After trying both options I recommend the 2nd option. Focus on strengthening your forearms to strengthen your fingers.

Wrist roller exercise to strengthen forearms.
Wrist roller exercise to strengthen forearms. | Source

Reasons To Do Finger Push Ups

Strengthen your fingers and forearms.
Motivate yourself to exercise.
Improve your grip strength.
Increase the size of your forearms.
Feel a sense of accomplishment.
Feel powerful.
Show off.
Go from I can't to I can.
Improve health.

Finger push ups improve your grip strength, they strengthen your fingers and they increase the size of your forearms. They look impressive and they can provide you with a sense of accomplishment. Doing them on your knuckles helps but it is not as good for strengthening your fingers and forearms. Wrist rollers are great for forearms but your results will be limited if you do not include knuckle and finger push ups.

Workouts can get boring. A good way to motivate yourself to exercise is to think of something difficult to do like bike 35 miles. Start with something that you can't do now. Then train so you can do it within a few weeks or months. One of the reasons people lack the motivation to exercise is because they get bored. Another reason is that they are not really accomplishing anything. Challenging yourself makes it easier to stay motivated. My main reason for doing finger push ups was to motivate myself to exercise.

Decline finger push ups.
Decline finger push ups. | Source


For faster results and less pain I recommend doing the best forearm exercise for strengthening your forearms. The wrist roller forearm workout along with knuckle push ups quickly made my forearm muscles strong enough to do finger push ups. Workout your forearms for at least 2 weeks and make sure you can easily do 10 on your knuckles before attempting to do them on your fingers.

When your forearms and fingers are ready the first rep should be easy. You should not need to do them on your knees or at an incline. It only takes a minute or two a day to strengthen your forearms. Most people can not do finger push ups. After doing a 2 minute workout once a day for 60 days I could do 10 reps. Now I do them while wearing a weighted backpack. In 30 days you could go from 0 to 6 reps without hurting your fingers. Depending on your fitness level and your weight it could take longer.

After you can do 10 to 12 in a row you may want to increase the difficulty by increasing the amount of weight or reducing number of fingers. I just did 4 six finger push ups. Doing them at a decline with your feet higher than your hands is an easy way to increase the percentage of body weight you are lifting. As part of my workout I have been doing decline push ups while wearing a weighted backpack.

  • Start a wrist roller workout.
  • Add knuckle push ups.
  • Increase the weight and number of reps.
  • Get strong forearms.
  • Add finger push ups to your forearm workout.
  • Get really strong forearms and fingers.
  • Increase the difficulty of your workout.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Michael H


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