Fitness, Workout Programs

What Muscles Does A Push Up Work? | Ready For A Push Up Challenge?

push ups

If you don’t know me by now, you should know that I’m all about the compound movements when it comes to exercising. I’m all about efficiency!

Also, exercises that require no equipment and can be done anytime, anywhere are always the best!

But one of the best exercises for women, in my opinion, are push ups. Regularly doing push ups will strengthen your chest…giving your chest a “lift”. In addition, it will shape your arms – shoulders and triceps, while toning and tightening your core and glutes! So why wouldn’t you incorporate push ups into your fitness routine?

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What Muscles Do Push Up Work?

Did you know that push ups are a full body workout? It uses many muscles in the body. Targeting specific upper body muscles as well as other muscles.

The main muscles targeted are:

push up

In addition to targeting the above specific muscles. It also engages stabilizer muscles. These include the abs, obliques and quads.

push up muscles

Tips For Perfect Push Up Form

We all know what a push up looks like, but here are some tips for doing it correctly.

  1. Keep head/neck neutral – You head should be in line with your torso.
  2. Hands directly below shoulders – hands should be placed shoulder width apart
  3. Hips and torso straight in a lateral line – A lot of times I see butt sticking up or slouching downwards. A trick in keep your hips and torso in line is to tighten your abs and glutes.
  4. Controlled movements – Don’t just drop down and then try pushing back up. Control your movements going down and coming back up.
  5. Full range of motion – Make sure your chest touches the floor. Don’t just drop half an inch and push back up.

Push Up Variations

  1. Basic Standard Push Up – With hands slightly outside shoulder width and in a plank position, bend at elbows and lower until chest touches the floor. Ensure that elbows are tucked and stays close to the body. Push back to start position, keeping core and glutes tight at all times.
  2. Basic Standard Knee Push Up – Same instructions as basic standard push up except your knees are bent and resting on the floor.
  3. Wide Grip Push Up – Same instructions as basic standard push up except hands are wider. This will be more difficult than the basic standard push up.
  4. Diamond Push Up – This push up targets the triceps more than the basic standard push up. Here your index fingers and thumbs form a diamond.
  5. Front Clap Push Up – This starts as a basic standard push, but you forcefully push your upper body off the floor so that you clap your hands in front of your body. Then back to the push up position.

Ready For A Push Up Challenge?

push up challenge

Let me know how you do! 🙂

Check out my other challenges, such as squat and jump rope.


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  • Reply Sharon

    That’s some pretty interesting information. I didn’t know pushups were basically a full body workout. But it makes sense!

    August 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply Elly McGuinness

    I love including push ups as part of my routine. So many variations and you can do them anyplace, anytime:)

    August 13, 2017 at 7:55 pm
    • Reply AP Power Fit

      Yes, totally agree. 🙂

      August 14, 2017 at 10:23 pm

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