Finger pushups are the same as regular pushups, with one notable exception. Instead of performing a pushup with your hands flat on the ground, thereby putting your weight on your palms when you lift your body, you curl your fingers so you are raising and lowering yourself only on your fingertips. A variation that is technically considered a finger pushup is to ball your fists and support your weight on your knuckles.
Execution is Everything
To execute a fingertip pushup, place your hands on the floor at the width of your shoulders. Raise your palms off the floor so you are resting on your fingertips. Put your feet together. Inhale when you lower your body until you just touch the floor with your chest. Exhale as you push your body up with your arms and shoulders until your arms are straight. Keep your body straight as well -- don't bend at the knees or the waist.
Let Your Fingers Do the Work
Pushups are a functional exercise for the chest, triceps and shoulders, using your body weight as resistance. They also recruit your core muscles to hold your trunk in alignment. In addition to the normal benefits of pushups, fingertip pushups are particularly useful in building wrist and hand strength. That can be quite beneficial in sports that require strong hands and wrists, such as golf and tennis. Pushups can be performed anywhere, even in small spaces, so if you live in a tiny apartment, you can still get a great upper body workout.
Mix It to the Max
You can vary fingertip and regular pushups to derive more benefits for particular muscles. To give your chest a more extensive workout, place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. To work your triceps more vigorously, put your hands closer together, with the tips of your thumb and first finger touching to form a triangle. To work the shoulders harder, place your feet on a stair or a ledge and execute the push-up. To focus on strengthening your wrists, do knuckle pushups instead, keeping your wrist beneath your elbow. As your fingers, hands and wrists get stronger, attempt to do pushups with fewer fingers touching the ground.
It's Not All Fun and Games
Some of the variations on regular fingertip pushups are difficult, and should not be attempted until you can easily do a number of regular fingertip pushups. If you have shoulder, arm, wrist or hand conditions, check with a doctor or physical therapist before introducing fingertip pushups into your workout routine. Fingertip pushups often are used to display superior upper-body strength and conditioning. The great martial arts champion Bruce Lee did one-handed pushups on just two fingers. In another impressive feat, Britain's Terry Cole set a world record by cranking out 8,200 fingertip pushups in five hours.