Whats the best push up for your chest


Push-ups are among the most effective and straightforward exercises available. Not only do they strengthen and tone a variety of muscles in the body, but they can also be modified for any fitness level or body type. Push-ups are particularly beneficial for building a strong chest, or pectoralis major muscle.

Choosing the right type of push-up to use will depend on which muscles you want to target, your fitness level, and the amount of intensity you’re looking for. In this guide, we’ll discuss several variations of push-ups that you can use to build your chest at home or at the gym:

Anatomy of a Push Up

Did you know that the push up is one of the most effective exercises for toning and strengthening your chest? Whether you’re looking to add definition or simply build the mass, push ups are an ideal choice. Knowing the anatomy of a push up is essential for performing the exercise correctly and getting the most out of it.

Let’s dive into the anatomy of a push up, and learn the best way to do it:

Hand Placement

The type of push up you perform can have a profound effect on which muscles are used. Hand placement is an important factor to consider when performing any push up variations.

When performing traditional push ups, hands should be positioned slightly wider than shoulder width apart, close enough so that elbows point inwards instead of outwards when pushing off the floor. This will help to activate the chest muscles while also providing balance and stability throughout the exercise. Avoid placing hands too far apart as this may place greater emphasis on other major muscle groups such as the triceps, causing undue strain on elbows and shoulders. Be sure to keep arms straight and wrists flat when pushing off the floor for optimal outcome and results.

For those looking for more advanced variations, hand position can be further modified to target specific muscle groups or customize exercises according to fitness level or goals:

  • A narrower hand grip (hands placed directly under the chest spot) will target triceps more than chest muscles.
  • A wider hand grip (shoulders width plus) will incorporate different muscles into a single exercise, including back/shoulder mobility.
  • Inclined neutral grip (hands grasping a flat surface – bench press technique) allows for greater emphasis on chest muscles.
  • Decline push ups modify body angle forcing arms and pecs work differently.

No matter what the purpose or preference of your workout, it is essential for your own safety that exercises like these are performed with proper form and hand position each time. Remember to monitor body tension throughout each repetition in order ensure you’re working efficiently without unnecessary stress or strain on any part of your body. Doing so could result in injury or greatly diminishing results over time!

Body Position

Body position is an important factor when performing push-ups. Set up on the floor with your legs extended behind you, toes resting lightly on the ground. Place your hands shoulder width apart and arms extended in front of you with palms facing down. Try to keep your body in a straight line from head to toe, forming a plank with your torso, maintaining this alignment throughout the exercise. This will help engage more muscles in the chest and shoulders to perform each push-up correctly, while also helping prevent neck pain or injury during exercise.

Range of Motion

Range of motion plays an important role in achieving a successful push up. Proper range of motion is achieved when your elbows are extended at the top of the downward phase and drop to a 90 degrees angle at the bottom of your upward phase. Additionally, you should ensure that your movement is controlled and that you keep your body in the correct position throughout.

When doing a push up, lower your chest to within an inch or two of the ground and then press back up with strength. During this process, be sure to engage your abs and glutes in order to avoid arching through your back which can cause injury. Keeping proper form ensures that you are targeting the muscles you are intending on training as well as activating key stabilizing muscles like the core muscles, shoulder protractors and rotator cuffs.

Different Types of Push Ups

Push ups are a great way to build strength and muscle throughout your upper body, particularly in your chest. There are different types of push ups, each of which target different muscles. Let’s explore the different types of push ups and see which one is best for your chest.

Standard Push Up

The standard push up is one of the most basic exercises, yet it’s also one of the most effective for building chest muscles. It is a simple body-weight exercise performed by lying face-down and pushing yourself upwards, using your arms and shoulders.

A lot of people have trouble doing traditional push ups – they can be difficult to maintain proper form through a full set. If this is the case for you, start off by doing modified push ups either with your knees on the ground or against an elevated surface like a bench or countertop. As you get stronger, progress to more intense push ups like incline and decline varieties by using variations on hand placement (closer to your torso or further away) or leveraging gravity with outward facing angles such as feet elevated on a chair or other surface.

Regardless of which type of push up you do, it’s important to maintain good form throughout the entire movement in order to maximize results and prevent injury. Make sure that as you lower yourself, your elbows remain pointed backward – not out too wide – and press up slowly until your arms are straight but not locked at the elbows. Keep your core engaged throughout each rep so that slouching does not occur from weakening of supportive muscles in the back and abdomen area.

Wide Push Up

Wide push ups are a common bodyweight exercise performed to increase strength in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. For this exercise, you start in a push up position then spread your arms wide out to the sides. This variation of a push up recruits more upper chest muscles while having less emphasis on the triceps as compared to standard push ups. Wide push ups are great for training your coordination and balance, as well as helping develop a well-defined chest.

In order to keep proper form while executing this exercise make sure you keep your core tight and your back straight throughout the movement. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders when in full plank position and about two times shoulder-width apart when lowering into the push up movement. Be mindful not to let your elbows flare out too far; this will take focus away from activating your full range of muscle fibers in your chest. It is beneficial to add instability through elevated feet or one arm variations which also necessitate increased core activation and overall stability.

For optimal results with wide push ups, you can do:

  • Multiple sets of 2-4 repetitions for 8-10 reps per set with 30–45 seconds rest between each set.
  • Keep challenging yourself by increasing resistance (adding weights) or decreasing rest times between sets!

Decline Push Up

The decline push up is an excellent exercise to add to your upper body strength and conditioning routine. This push up exercise puts more emphasis on the pectoral muscles, which are the major muscles that make up the chest.

To do a decline push up, begin by positioning your body in a declined angle with your feet elevated on a stable object like an exercise ge, chair, or staircase step. Start by bending at the elbows in order to lower your chest towards the ground, pause for a moment before returning to the starting position. Be sure to maintain proper form throughout this motion and keep your back straight. Perform multiple repetitions of 3 sets or more depending on your fitness goals.

It is important to note that while decline press ups are great for chest building, they must be done correctly in order to be effective and avoid any unnecessary injuries. Be sure to keep your elbows close to your sides as you move down and avoid overextending them or locking them out when returning back up. Additionally, maintain a steady breath throughout this exercise while engaging all other muscle groups along with the primary target area (chest) of decline push ups!

Incline Push Up

Incline push ups are a great way to target the muscles of your chest in a slightly different way than regular push ups. This type of exercise uses an elevated surface such as a bench, for you to perform the push up on. Incline push ups emphasize more chest activation than the standard variety, making it useful when you want to target the inner portion of your pectoral muscles. By using an incline, you also reduce the stress put on your shoulder and elbow joints that some people experience with flat ground push ups. Many will also find it easier to achieve full range of motion with these types of exercises due to improved shoulder stability.

For added intensity, you can add resistance bands looped around your back or weights across your upper back. However make sure that you can master proper form before progressing with weight or resistance bands. Experimenting with hand position and distance between hands can help you target different areas of the chest while performing incline push-ups. As always be sure to start slowly and work your way up as needed, so that you get a good workout but don’t end up injuring yourself in the process.

Diamond Push Up

The Diamond Push Up is a type of upper body exercise that works the pectoral (chest) muscles, triceps and shoulders. This variation of the traditional push up requires you to place your hands together and form a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers. When you lower yourself, aim to bring your chest all the way down to the floor or as low as you can. This exercise is perfect for any level from beginner to advanced fitness enthusiast.

Executing this push up correctly is important for optimizing muscle activation and avoiding injury. Start by positioning yourself on all fours facing down with your palms together in line with your shoulders forming a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs. Firmly press into the ground while extending your legs behind you in a plank position. Engage your core and ensure that all muscle groups are braced throughout the movement to ensure safety and maximize muscular recruitment making sure that your shoulders, elbows, back, hips, legs, neck, head and feet are in alignment throughout the entire movement.

  • Begin lowering until chest nearly touches floor then drive back up by pushing into ground through palms while squeezing through entire body until arms are extended but elbows never completely lock out completely at top of rep.
  • For increased intensity or advanced level challenge place feet at higher elevated surface such as bench or countertop or add isometric holds of chest touching floor for bonus stability work from fulcrum point of diamonds formed by hands beneath body resulting in elevated difficulty level of exercise for greater magnitude results!

Benefits of Push Ups

Push ups are one of the most efficient and effective exercises to build strength in your upper body. You can target different areas of your chest depending on the kind of push up you do. Push ups help you increase your overall strength and can also improve your posture.

Let’s look at the benefits of different types of push ups for your chest:

Strengthen Chest Muscles

Push ups are a great bodyweight exercise that strengthen the chest, back, arms and shoulders. Push ups are an important part of any workout for anyone wanting to build overall strength and develop well-defined muscles.

When doing push ups you should keep your body in a straight line from head to toe. The use of proper form will ensure that the right muscles are targeted and will help prevent any injuries. When done correctly, this exercise can target all muscles in the chest area including: pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and serratus anterior.

The intensity of push ups can be increased by:

  • Adding weight with weights or bands
  • Increasing reps
  • Changing the position of your hands (such as widening them)

This helps to build more strength and make the chest work harder during each exercise session. Push ups can also help improve posture by having you hold your core in tight while keeping your shoulder blades down and back for added stability throughout the movement.

Just because push ups are a simple bodyweight exercise does not mean they should be taken lightly! Done properly, push up exercises provide an intense full body workout that is sure to benefit anyone looking for improved strength, better posture and well-defined muscles. So make sure to add plenty of reps into your next training session!

Increase Core Strength

Pushups are a great exercise for working your chest muscles, triceps, and core. When performed correctly, pushups can also help increase your core strength by targeting the deeper transverse abdominal muscle and external obliques to stabilize the body during each repetition. Your core is the center of the power for all movements in the body, so having a strong core is essential for good overall fitness.

Pushups can be modified to best target different areas of your chest. Regularly adding pushups into your workout routine can provide you with stronger muscles and improve your posture, balance, and overall stability.

Improve Posture

Push-ups are a great way to help improve your posture, as it can strengthen your core and upper body muscles. When you do push-ups correctly, you work the major muscles around your shoulders and chest. Strengthening these muscle groups will help balance the body, enable it to resist forces better, and allow for better movement control.

Not only will this improve posture, but it may also reduce injuries that can occur from improper posture or overstraining of your body’s muscles. Incorporating push-ups into your routine will help strengthen essential postural muscles used in everyday activities such as sitting, standing, or walking.


To sum it up, there is no single best push up for your chest. The most effective exercises target all of the primary muscle groups involved with chest exercises, from the anterior deltoids and pectoralis major to the triceps and lats. To maximize your workout, focus on doing a variety of exercises that involve the whole spectrum of muscles involved in chest training. Classic push ups are a great starting point, but you should also challenge yourself to try more complex variations as well.

In addition to traditional push ups, be sure to include pull ups and weighted pulls in order to work different muscles in different ways. Be sure to also keep good form during your workouts and pay special attention to avoiding common mistakes such as jerking or straining any of your joints. With regular practice and dedication, you’ll be able to achieve an impressive chest workout while also fostering muscular health and strength!