Exercise Name: Push ups
Main Muscle: Chest
Secondary Muscle(s): Core, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper Back
Exercise Type: Compound, Push
Equipment Required: Body Weight Exercise

Push Up Information

Push-ups are a compound, body weight exercise that work your upper body and core. Possibly the greatest thing about push-ups is that you can do an effective body weight workout anytime, anywhere.

Another major benefit of push ups is that they are very versatile. You can target specific muscles by changing the angle of the push up or changing the width of your hand base. We love push ups. In fact, they made our list for the top 5 most effective chest workouts and we also introduced readers to 19 different variations of the push up.

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>>> How to: Handstand Push Up

>>> Narrow Push Up [How to]

To Perform the Push Up

  1. Lie on an exercise mat or the floor face down and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart while holding your torso up at arms length and keeping your back straight.
  2. Next, inhale and lower yourself down by bending at the arms until your chest almost touches the floor. Your biceps and forearms should form a ninety (90) degree angle in this position at the bottom of the movement.
  3. Next, exhale and press your body back up to the starting position by extending your arms fully and squeezing your chest.
  4. Pause for a moment then lower yourself downward again and complete the desired number of repetitions.

Push Up Tips

  1. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
  2. The width of your hand base determines where the emphasis is placed. A wider hand base focuses more on the outer portion of the chest whereas a close grip focuses more on the triceps.
  3. To increase the resistance, place your feet on a bench or other high surface. In addition to increasing resistance, this new angle also creates an upper chest exercise that places more of an emphasis on the upper head of the pectoralis major and your pectoralis minor.