What muscle does a pushup work?

Exercises called pushups or pushups are one of the representative upper body exercises that can be done anywhere, regardless of location.

There are many people who are good at it regardless of gender. The push-up effect is a basic exercise for building upper body muscles.

Rather than simply developing the muscles distributed in the upper body, the push-up effect also helps to strengthen the core.

Push-up effect – dynamic strength exercise (meaning that the muscles move while exercising)

Upper body muscle with pushup

what muscle does a pushup work

The main target of the pushup exercise is the pectoral muscle, which is the prime mover. Anatomically, it is called the pectoralis major. It is not only developed in the pectoral muscle, but also stimulates the shoulder (front), arm (triceps) and antagonist back muscles, which can be called cooperative muscles . going.

When lying on the floor, the target muscle area may vary depending on the width of the arm. Narrowing the arm is much more effective for developing the inner chest and triceps.

If you use a chair, you can exercise by subdividing the pectoral muscles. The pectoral muscles can be divided into upper, middle, and lower. If you put your feet on a chair and do pushups, it is good for upper chest development. It is good for the development of the lower chest if you put it on top and do a pushup.

During pushup, three muscles are mainly working

Pectoralis major.

What muscle does a pushup work

Its main functions are flexion , adduction and internal rotation in the humerus. The pectoralis major is usually referred to simply as the ” pectoral muscle ” because it is the largest and most important muscle in the chest region ;

Triceps , or triceps muscle of the shoulder.

What muscle does a pushup work

This muscle assists the biceps control the arm’s flexion while simultaneously being in charge of extending the arm. The muscle itself consists of the long, lateral, and medial heads of the triceps ;

Anterior deltoid muscle.

What muscle does a pushup work

This muscle is involved in the exercise indirectly, however, it has an important task during push ups. It is involved in fixing the arm in front of the shoulder.

Additionally, depending on the sort of push ups performed, each athlete can alter the amount of load placed on a particular muscle.
In actuality, this exercise involves isometric training of a number of muscles (that is, the muscle is tense, but does not expand or contract).
During movement, these muscles maintain and balance the body in the appropriate position. Therefore, additionally loaded:

Latissimus dorsi;
Internal muscles of the chest;
Abdominal muscles;
Thighs and buttocks;
Quadriceps and tibialis anterior.

Push-ups strengthen the tendons and joints when they are done properly. Some push-up modifications, such as uneven push-ups where the arms are at different heights, effectively strengthen the rotator cuff, a commonly deformed area in athletes.

The benefits of pushup

Push-ups will help novice athletes strengthen their elbow and shoulder joints, enabling them to carry out more difficult forms of workouts by altering the angle of their torsos with respect to the horizontal plane.

Push-ups also help increase blood flow in the upper body, which in turn cleanses the blood vessels and promotes healthy joint function. And the risk of damage to muscles, tendons and joints in those who use push-ups in their workout is less than those who use only weight exercises.

Properly performed push-ups also increase the endurance and strength of the muscles of the upper half of the body. In addition, they strengthen bones, with proper training they contribute to an increase in muscle mass and, in general, have a positive effect on the general physical condition of the body.


In general, push-ups are safe and effective exercises. The main thing is to observe the execution technique and adapt to yourself. There are general guidelines that you should follow. Caution should be taken when doing push-ups for people with hand problems, in particular hands and wrists. It is best for such people to do push-ups with paralets (handles, outwardly like a doorknob). They are needed so that the wrists do not bend 90 degrees, as this is not the best position for the hands.

Hypertension patients should be careful. It is better for them to perform only static exercises (movements in which the muscles tense up, but the position does not change). If a hypertensive person lingers at the bottom point during push-ups, then he will most likely immediately increase his pressure, especially when training in the afternoon, in the evening. And most often hypertensive people are overweight people. It is best for them to do push-ups from the wall, not from the floor.

Abdominal muscle improvement thanks to pushup

You may think that the pushup position is simply done with your hands on the floor, but in order to take this position, you must have strong abdominal muscles and core to perform well in push- ups. You may find that you can’t do this, but the reason is that the core is weakened.

The effect of push-ups is a very good exercise that naturally builds strength in the abdominal muscles and strengthens the core if done before upper body development. You can see it gets better.

In addition to the core, doing push-ups develops the senses for joints, tendons, and muscles . By reacting unconsciously and unconsciously, we can quickly respond to injuries or dangerous situations. This is called proprioceptive sensation. When we stumble , we try to get out of the danger by acting unconsciously, and those with well-developed proprioception have a much better ability to cope with dangerous situations than those with poor proprioception . (Injury prevention, etc.)

Confidence and stamina by practising pushup

It’s not just push-ups, but the more you do all the exercises, the better your stamina. For push-ups, you breathe in when you lower (relax) and exhale when you raise (contract) . Doing this naturally improves your cardiorespiratory endurance As your physical strength improves, your self-confidence increases as well.

In addition, in a similar vein to that described above, it is also shown as a positive result in terms of performance by improving the muscle power of athletes (even ordinary people).

Pushup pose – try this (breathing)

Just by holding and holding the pushup position properly, you can expect meaningful results for the development of balance and core, as described above for the push-up effect.

The point here is that the buttocks should not be turned downward. The position of the buttocks should be maintained so that the head, shoulders, and legs are in a straight line. Those who do not do this well usually have weak core and abs. Some people make it level with the floor.

It is ideal to hold the arm near the shoulder line so that it does not go above or too below the shoulder line , hold the arm at a width of 90 degrees when the forearm muscles go down , and point the elbow slightly below the shoulder line, about 45 degrees. attitude will be

As already explained, pushup breathing can be done by inhaling when going down and exhaling when going up .

Types of push-ups


Most people probably remember this view from school . However, many do not remember, and some neglect the correct execution of this exercise.

Keep your feet together, palms facing forward and shoulder-width apart. Straighten your arms and make sure your neck, back and legs are in one straight line. When moving down, the arms are bent at the elbow joint along the torso. Two seconds down, one second pause, two seconds up and down without a pause.

If doing this type of exercise is difficult, try lowering your knees to the floor in the early stages.

Diamond pushup

In this form, part of the load is shifted to the triceps muscle. Starting position – as in classic push-ups. But it is necessary to position the index and thumbs of both hands so that they touch and form a diamond shape.

Lower your chest towards your arms, making sure that your elbows do not flare out to the sides, and keep your back straight. You need to stop before your chest touches the floor. Then return to the starting position. This can be quite a difficult exercise, so if you can’t do it right away, you can try resting your legs on your knees to do a few repetitions.

Speed pushup

Athletes from combat sports such as boxing,karate, hand-to-hand combat,kickboxing andothersusehigh-speed push-ups. The muscles used in this type of exercise are involved in the execution of direct strikes in martial arts. For greater effect, it is recommended to alternate this style with the classicone.

Exercises for the muscles of the hands.

In the initial position, the setting of the arms, legs and body is the same as in the classic push-ups. The difference between the speed type and the classic one is that the athlete does not pause either at the top or at the bottom of the exercise. The athlete seems to throw the body up, and the downward movement resembles a fall. It also requires more careful control of breathing.

And these are just three of the many variations. Through a combination of styles, the use of additional equipment, for example:

ball, benches, walls, sports tape, weights, special stops .

an athlete can diversify the workout and get an impact on different groups and parts of the muscles. You can also use a different emphasis: on the fists, on the fingers, on the back of the hand. However, you need to be careful, because these types of push-ups are usually much harder. By doing different types of sets throughout the day (for example, 15 times) or during a workout, as well as making these exercises periodically. So, the muscles of the upper body get the most positive result

Wall pushup

Stand facing the wall at a short distance, rest your palms on the wall. Bend your elbows and, as you inhale, lower yourself to the wall, while rising on your heels. As you exhale, take the starting position. This exercise is suitable for beginners or people who are contraindicated in heavy loads.

Hand Step Pushups

Get into a plank position. While inhaling, bending your elbows, take a step to the side with one hand. As you exhale, return to the starting position. So you add more and cardio load.

Tilt pushup

Take a classic position, but put your feet on a bench (sofa, chair) and start pushing up from the floor. In this case, the hands should stand slightly in front of the line of the shoulders for balance. This exercise cannot be performed by hypertensive patients.

Remember to use a variety of equipment, such as medicine balls, rings and weights. This will make your workout more effective.

Knee pushup

Get into a plank position, but keep your knees on the floor. As you inhale, bend your arms and lower yourself until your chest touches the floor, and then rise. Make sure that your back does not bend and your pelvis does not rise. This exercise is great for beginners.

What happens if you do 15 repetitions daily?

If you are a beginner athlete, then there is a high probability that in the early days it will be difficult for you to reproduce 15 repetitions. But at the end of the second week, this figure will submit to you. With proper and periodic exercises, already at the end of the second or third week, the athlete may be able to see a slight change in the volume and lines of the pectoral, shoulder muscles and the triceps muscle of the hands.

However, we recommend doing this exercise every other day, so in the early stages you allow the body to carry out the recovery process more efficiently and achieve a more effective result.

If the athlete’s level of training is high enough, it is recommended performing this exercise using various types of torso inclination. One of the most difficult types is standing on your hands with push-ups vertically upwards without support for the legs.

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2 months ago

Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

1 month ago

Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.

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