Are Knuckle Push-Ups Worth It?

The Knuckle Push-Up has its benefits, but is it the right exercise for you?

Popular in the combat sports community, Knuckle Push-Ups may be worth trying as part of your regular routine. Yet some may pause, remembering that NBA forward Kevin Love broke his hand doing them, and wonder if the benefits are worth the risk.

If you are thinking of incorporating Knuckle Push-Ups into your workout, here are some things to consider.

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Your knuckles get tougher. As you do multiple sets, the skin on your knuckles gets calloused, which is beneficial for anyone who throws punches in their sport. Doing Push-Ups on your knuckles is also a good way to save your wrists. During Knuckle Push-Ups, the pressure is placed on your knuckles instead of your extended wrists. If you experience pain in your wrists while doing standard Push-Ups, doing Push-Ups on your knuckles may be a good way to get the benefits without the pain.

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If you aren't heavily involved in combat sports, you probably don't need toughened knuckles, and your time may be better spent on other exercises. Knuckle Push-Ups pose some injury risk. You could slip out of position and hurt yourself, especially if you're not familiar with the movement. And if you don't experience wrist pain during standard Push-Ups, getting on your knuckles may serve no purpose.

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Perform It

Knuckle Push-Ups

If you decide to incorporate Knuckle Push-Ups into your routine, pay close attention to proper form. The first thing you need to do is make a proper fist, which can be harder than it seems. Unlike with regular Push-Ups, your arms and fists will be directly underneath your shoulders. To reduce the chance of injury, make sure your arms don't sag or protrude during the movement. Perform the exercise on a soft surface that won't slip, like a yoga mat.

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