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Name of Activity:

Fun Push Ups

Purpose of Activity:

To help students increase muscular strength and endurance.

Activity cues:

Eyes up, hands shoulder width apart, concentrate on strong abs

Suggested Grade Level:

3rd and Up

Materials Needed:

A mat and various other pieces of equipment including a small ball or two.

Description of Idea

Sometimes performing regular push ups can be boring. The following push up activities should provide some more excitement for kids and provide the same benefits. Of course students can choose whether to be in the push up position of their choice (i.e., modified or regular). Many of these can also be done in the crab crawl position.

1. Macarena Push-ups

The students reach forward with their right hand while supporting themselves with their left arm. After returning their right hand to the floor they raise their left hand while supporting themselves with their right arm. The following commands are then given: (After practicing add the music and have a great time and a great workout!)

Right hand forward and turn palm up-return, left hand forward and turn palm up, return.
Right hand to left shoulder-return, left hand to right shoulder-return.
Right hand to right ear-return, left hand to left ear-return.
Right hand to left waist-return, left hand to right waist-return.
Right hand to right hip-return, left hand to left hip-return.
1/4 turn to your right and repeat the steps facing the next wall.

2. Alphabet Push Ups

Tap left shoulder with right hand, then right with left, etc. as you recite the alphabet.

3. Ball Tap Push Ups

Put a small ball (i.e. tennis) in between your hands. Tap the ball with right hand, then left. (The ball does not move).

This time make the ball move from side to side.
This time touch the ball with your elbow. Right elbow then left.

4. Chin Juggling Push Ups

Put a small ball in your right hand while in push up position. Put in under your chin; put right hand back on floor: remove ball from chin with the left hand and place back on floor. Continue alternating in this manner.

5. Partner Patty Cakes

Two people in push up position face each other. Tap right hand to right hand and then left to left. Continue alternating until too tired to go on. Too make harder increase distance between partners.

6. Push Up Position Hockey

Two people in push up position face each other about 5 feet apart. Using a bean bag or ball, try to slide or roll the object between your partners two hands. The partner may stop it with one hand only. Students may choose to keep score if they would like.

7. A Deck of Push Ups

Using a deck of playing cards, challenge your students to a push up contest. The students turn over a card, whatever the card is, you do that number of push ups. Joker=20, Ace=15, King=13, Queen=12, Jack=11 and so forth on down the line. The teacher then turns over a card and the students do that many push ups. Go back and forth until you get too tired. Tally how many push ups you did as a group.

8. Bean Bag Push-Ups

Materials needed for this activity are a crate, box, or basket which stands about 1 1/2 feet off the ground and bean bags (approximately 4 per student). Children are in push-up position with beanbags and baskets in front of them. They start by picking 1 beanbag up off the floor with left hand and placing it on the crate, then the next with the right hand, then the next with the left until all the beanbags are on the crate. Now they take the beanbags off the crate one by one alternating hands until they are all off the crate. This repeats until a given time limit such as one minute is over.

9. Alphabet Push Ups with a Partner

Two children are in push up position across from each other about arms length apart. They are to high five each other using opposite hands while working their way through the ABC's. This can then be modified and low fives can be used. To make more difficult have them go through the alphabet backwards.

Robert Rimmel who teaches PE at Sherando High School in Winchester, VA.

10. Tennis Ball Roll Push-Ups

One child is in push up position while a partner is behind them holding a tennis ball. The partner with the tennis ball rolls the ball under the student in push up position and the push up person catches the ball and tosses it back to the partner over their shoulder. To make more difficult have the person in the push up position alternate hands.

Robert Rimmel who teaches PE at Sherando High School in Winchester, VA.

Submitted by Eloise Elliott , Ken Bell and Craig Walker. Craig is an Elementary PE Teacher at Spring Garden Elementary School in Hampstead, MD. Eloise is on the faculty at WVU. Ken is on the faculty at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. Push up games #1, 3, 5 were presented by Chip Candy at the 1994 WVAHPERD Conference. Activity #6 was presented at the 1996 23rd Annual Cal Poly Elementary Physical Education Workshop. Thanks for contributing to PE Central!


Invite children to use a modified push up it they want where they have knees on floor instead of toes.

Teaching Suggestions:

These can be tough on the back so make sure if you have any children with bad backs that you be careful with these activities.

Submitted by Mark Manross in Blacksburg, VA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 6/4/2012.
Viewed 171316 times since 5/22/2012.

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Fun Push Ups

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thanks for sharing this fun activities it is very helpful

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