Push-ups is a fast and effective exercise for building strength. It’s one of the most powerful upper body workouts, which you can do anywhere and anytime. You don’t need a gym to do push up. One of the most preferred advantages of push-ups is that it carries a lot of variations, by which we can grow different muscles as per our desire. We can do push-ups at all three levels, which are beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Those people who have week chest should surely focus on push-ups. In this era of high tech fitness gym workouts, we are neglecting the core exercises which are more effective if you do consistently.

Push up workout not only targets our chest muscles but also focuses on other muscle groups of our body. Chest, shoulder (deltoids), triceps, serratus anterior, and abdominals are the main muscle groups targeted by push up workout. So, it becomes necessary to understand Push-ups workout, its recommended step by step process, benefits, precautions, and variations to master this workout.

Chest Anatomy (Muscle Group targeted by Push up Workout)

What Muscles Do Push Ups Work?

Push ups mainly works our Pects (Chest) almost in every push ups variation. We can target our delts (Shoulders), Biceps, Triceps by adding different variations. Push ups also work on your core. It increases the strength of core due to which we get more power to do any abs exercises.

List of Muscle groups Targeted by Push Up Workout

  • Pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles of the chest
  • Shoulder (deltoids)
  • Triceps brachii
  • Serratus anterior
  • Abdominal muscles
  • Coracobrachialis

Other than the above main muscles, Push up workout also targets other muscles like upper and middle back muscles, bicep muscles up to a certain extent. To maintain the position of push-ups (plank position), leg muscles like hamstrings, calf, shin muscles, quadriceps also come into the picture. So, the majority of your upper body and core muscles’ is the target area of push-ups workout.

How to do push-ups?

1) Do warm-up of the upper body, that is, shoulder rotation and arm extension (as the majority of upper body muscles will be involved)

2) Get down on your knees, placing your hands forward in a plank position and keep a slightly wider distance between your arms.

3) Arm position must be in line with the shoulder.

4) Straighten your arms and legs to maintain a constant slope.

5) Try to touch your chest to ground

6) During the downward movement of the body, make sure that:

  • Only Elbow movement Takes place
  • Your hand position must not change
  • No bending of knees permitted (Maintain constant slope throughout the process)
  • Maintain straight eye contact during downward and upward movement (choose a focus point parallel to eyesight)

7) Pause for 1-2 seconds at the downward position, and then push yourself back to the original position

8) Do 20 repetitions in a row

SETS: 3 Sets
REPETITION: 25 Reps (or till failure)

Benefits of Push-ups Exercise

  • Push up is a powerful full-body workout that burns a large number of calories in a short period.
  • Push-ups help in developing good cardiovascular health, which includes lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
  • Following regular Push-ups routine before a workout will protect you from any kind of shoulder injury
  • Your back muscles will strengthen resulting in no lower back injuries
  • Regular push-ups can reduce osteoporosis development and increase testosterone levels
  • It does not require any equipment. So, it can be done anywhere at your convenience.

Precautions for Push-ups Workout

  • Maintaining correct form and posture is more important than the number of repetitions. So, do not increase repetitions until you do push-ups in the correct form.
  • Distance between the arms must be optimum to avoid shoulder injuries.
  • While doing push-ups, your head and spine must be in the same line to avoid spine injuries.
  • Do not shift directly to diamond push-ups, hand clap push-ups before developing a correct form.
  • If you have any joint health issues, consult a doctor before performing push-ups.

Push up Workout Guide for Beginner

KEY POINT: The more vertical position of your torso is, the lesser percent of bodyweight you have to lift. Also, the more horizontal your torso position is, the greater the percentage of body weight you have to lift. So the progression always starts from vertical torso to horizontal torso, and hence any beginner should start from wall push up if he or she is too weak to perform even knee push-ups.

1 ) Wall Push-ups

TARGET AREA: Chest and Shoulders. (Due to vertical torso, the muscle tension is low on chest and shoulders)


  • Stand with your feet away from the wall.
  • Keep your hands at your shoulder height against the wall.
  • Push through the hands to straighten the elbows and then bend the elbows, leaning forward towards the wall slowly and come back to starting position to complete one repetition.
  • Try to stay on your toes with the body perfectly sealed with no movement in your shoulder blades. The only moving part is the elbows.
  • Avoid excessive shoulder blade movement throughout the exercise.

2) Incline Push-ups

TARGET AREA: Your primary tension is created on the upper chest. Secondary tension is created on Shoulders and triceps.


  • Find any object the same as to your knee level; the bed is a perfect choice. (if performing at the gym, they provide you blocks, or you can do it with the help of any bench)
  • Place your both palms at the incline level (bench or bed) at shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your core tight and chest up. Your both feet should be touching each other. This is your starting position.
  • Bend your elbows to slowly lower chest, touching the edge of the bench.
  • Return back to starting position slowly to complete one repetition

3) Knee Push-ups

TARGET AREA: Primary tension created on the chest. Secondary tension created on Shoulders and triceps.


  • Get yourself in a standard plank position.
  • Keep both hands just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • The only change in the position is your knees. Your knees will be touching the floor as well as your toes.
  • Keep your straight and core tight; this will be your starting position.
  • Bend your elbows to slowly lower yourself, try to touch your chest to the floor, and then return back to starting position to complete one repetition.

Variation in Push-Ups (Variation based on Difficulty Level)

Although there are many types of push-ups in the world, here we will cover in detail only about those push-ups which will target your bicep,tricep, and shoulder. (Core and chest is common to the target area in every push-up). So that even if you are away from your gym for a few days, you can still keep them activated and sore through these variations.

These are the six main types of push-ups that you can perform based on your fitness level. We will go on increasing the level of difficulty as we develop the proper form of simpler push up type.

1. Wide Hand Push-ups

The Wide hand push-up is an advanced level of push up in which focus is mainly on your chest and involvement of the triceps and shoulders muscles is less to target chest only.

2. Hindu Push-ups

Hindu push up is mainly for developing strength, power, movement, and stability while maintaining an effective posture.

Variation: In Hindu Pushup, we need to approach ground in a swing and do hips up and lean backward while returning to normal position.

3. Single Hand Push-ups

Single hand push-up is an advanced level of push up that strengthens our arm by putting full body weight on single-arm while performing push-ups.

Variation: In this type of push up, we need to perform push up with only one hand at a time (Other hands to be kept on the lower back while performing the push up)

4. Diamond (Triangle) Push-ups

Diamond push up is an advanced level of push up that targets mainly triceps brachii, the front part of your deltoids, and helps in developing a strong core.

Variation: Create a Triangle or diamond shape with your hands. (Both hands must touch to create this shape). You are performing this exercise with the correct form if direct stress is developing on tricep muscles.

5. Clap Push-Ups

Clap push-ups is an extreme level of push-up variation, which only experts must perform. It can cause injury if you are not good at normal push-up exercise.

Variation: Clap Push Ups consists of 1 Normal push up and one clap. This clap must be performed within a fraction of seconds when you push yourself away from the ground.

Other Push-ups Variations

1 ) Decline push-ups

2 ) Wide grip push-ups

3 ) One hand push-ups

4 ) Archer push-ups

5 ) Typewriter push-ups

6 ) Clapping push-ups

7 ) Standard to diamond push-ups

8 ) Back clap push-ups

9 ) Eccentric push-ups

10 ) Plyometric push-ups


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