Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelAdvanced
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Chest, Shoulders
Target Muscle Group


Triceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Sphinx Push Up Overview

The sphinx push up is a push up variation that places a greater emphasis on the triceps as opposed to the chest.

Although the sphinx push up is more of a triceps exercise, it will still target the muscles of the chest, core, and shoulders. The sphinx push up is an excellent alternative to the close grip push up for those that may lack the shoulder mobility to perform close grip push ups.

Sphinx Push Up Instructions

  1. Assume a quadruped position on the floor with your hands under your shoulders, toes tucked, and knees under hips.
  2. Extend one leg at a time and assume a plank position with the legs straight, weight on your forearms, and head in a neutral position looking at the floor.
  3. Press into the ground with your hands and extend the elbows to raise to the top position.
  4. Descend until the forearms are back on the floor and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Sphinx Push Up Tips

  1. Your arms should resemble an arrow in the bottom position, not a “T”.
  2. Your spine should remain rigid throughout the entire exercise, think of the push up as a moving plank.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs before descending to keep the ribcage neutral.
  4. Keep the chin down and don’t look forward.
  5. Imagine you’re trying to push your thumbs together while completing the movement, this will improve activation of the pecs.
  6. Don’t allow the head to jut forward, the chest should touch at the same time as your nose.
  7. Think about trying to push yourself as far away from the floor as possible.
    • Ensure you push all the way through the floor at the top of the repetition and allow your shoulder blades to move around your ribcage.
    • Most folks cut the repetition short and don’t garner the full benefits.