How to do a Incline Push-Up – Benefits and Variations

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: January 7, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
How to do a Incline Push-Up - Benefits and Variations

Incline pushups are an excellent option for those looking to get into a pushup routine but who may have difficulty doing the traditional form.

This exercise, done with a stable surface such as a table, desk, or wall, still targets the prime chest muscles (the pectoralis major and minor) while substantially decreasing the amount of body weight being lifted and putting less strain on the elbow joints.

This form of pushup is perfect for beginners, those doing upper body or shoulder rehabilitation, or seniors wanting to build upper body dexterity and strength to maintain independence.

How to Do Incline Pushups

Use a bench, table, or another sturdy platform that is about 3 feet high to perform the basic incline pushup. Here’s how to execute this style properly:

Step to Step Guide How to Do Incline Pushups:

Step 1: Begin by standing facing the bench, table, or edge of the bed with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Place your hands on the edge of your chosen surface, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be straight but not locked at the elbows.

Align your feet so that your arms and body are in a straight line, keeping them in line with the bench.

Step 2: Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the edge of the bench. Keep your head and spine aligned throughout the movement, looking straight ahead of you as you move. Make sure to keep a straight line between your arms and body.

Step 3: Once you have lowered yourself as far as comfortable, press down through both hands while engaging your core muscles to return to starting position. Make sure you don’t arch your back during this step and stay in a flat plank position the whole time. 

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the desired number of reps or time period, making sure to keep proper form throughout all repetitions. 

Step 5: Once finished with repetitions, rest for 30 seconds before repeating the exercise if desired. 

Increase difficulty by elevating feet onto a higher surface, such as a chair or box, for greater range of motion during pushups and greater muscle engagement throughout the exercise. 

Pay attention to breathing technique during exercises to ensure that each repetition is performed properly and safely; inhale at beginning of each repetition when lowering chest towards the bench and exhale when pushing back up into starting position.

Incline Pushups Benefits

Incline pushups are an effective strength training exercise for increasing muscle strength and stability throughout the body.

This move targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and a variety of stabilizing muscles including those in the abs, back, hips, and legs.

Incline pushups can be used as a great option for individuals who struggle with standard pushups due to difficulty getting down to or back up from the floor.

They can start with a wall before progressing to using a table or countertop before moving on to low steps or benches.

By incorporating incline pushups into their fitness routine, individuals can get all of the benefits of standard pushups while also working their upper body in an enjoyable way.

Common Incline Push-Ups Mistakes

To get the most out of this technique, you need to avoid making these mistakes.

Wide Hand Placement

Proper hand spacing during an exercise is essential for achieving effective results. Getting it wrong can cause fatigue and lead to injury, as the most common error made is spreading your hands too far apart.

This reduces range of motion and drastically cuts down on the benefits you would have gained from performing the exercise correctly, so it’s important to make sure your body mechanics are sound before beginning any workout.

Understanding the right positioning of wrists, hands, and elbows will ensure greater safety throughout your exercise routine.

Poor Alignment

Maintaining good form is essential for getting the most out of any physical activity.

To ensure proper form, it’s important to keep the upper and lower body in straight alignment by avoiding slumping, sagging, and bending the hips or knees. The ideal position is one in which a straight line appears from the head to toe.

If difficulty is experienced in achieving or sustaining this correct alignment, weak abdominal and core muscles may be to blame. Strengthening these areas will help improve posture and maintain better form while exercising.

Short Range of Motion

To ensure they are receiving the full benefits of the exercise, they must perform each rep of their chest press with a full range of motion.

This means that when their elbows are straight, their arms should be fully extended away from the body and when their arms have been bent, their noses should graze the bench or immediately overhead object.

If it is difficult for them to reach this distance, then either have them use a higher upright bench or station themselves close to a sturdy wall so that the furthest point of the lift can still be properly reached.

This will help to ensure that they are getting the most out of their workout and reaping all its possible rewards.

Variations of Incline Push-Ups?

Shoulder Tap Push-Ups

Shoulder tap push-ups are a great exercise to target the chest, triceps, and shoulders while also strengthening your core.

To begin this move, you’ll need to start in a plank position with a straight body core and glutes engaged arms shoulder width apart and your wrists directly on top of your shoulders.

As you inhale, lower your chest towards the ground while bending and tucking in your elbows into your torso.

Make sure to stay engaged throughout the entire movement as you slowly exhale and push back up to starting position.

For each rep, end at the top by raising one hand to tap the opposite shoulder before returning back down for the next rep. These should be done for 6-20 reps for 4 sets total for optimal results.

Hindu Push-Ups 

Hindu Push-ups are intermediate level exercise that provides many benefits to the end user. Not only do they help build upper body strength, but they can also increase flexibility and mobility.

The exercise requires two poses downward dog and cobra and can be executed by beginning in a downward dog pose with hands set at a shoulder-width position.

Engaging core muscles and inhaling slightly, you should then bend your elbows and lower your head towards the floor before coming back up again to complete one rep of the Hindu Push-up.

This movement should be repeated 5-16 times for 4 sets, ensuring adequate rest is taken between each set to avoid straining muscles.

Spider-man Push-Ups

Spider-man Push-Ups are an excellent way to build tremendous upper body and core strength. To perform this exercise, start in a plank position with your hands at shoulder width.

Your shoulders must be stacked directly on top of your wrists and your body forms a straight line with your core and glutes engaged.

When performing the exercise, inhale deeply as you lower your chest towards the ground while drawing up one knee to touch the corresponding elbow before reversing movement back to starting position.

Be sure to alternate sides when doing so and aim for between six to eighteen reps in four sets. Spider-man Push-Ups can certainly help you build superhero strength!

Decline Push-Ups 

Decline push-ups are an effective bodyweight exercise for working out your arms and chest.

To correctly perform a decline push-up, begin in a plank position with your feet on an elevated surface and your hands on the ground at shoulder width.

Then, slowly lower your chest towards the ground until your triceps are parallel to the ground, before pushing back up to the starting position. For best results, aim to complete 4 sets of 5-20 reps depending on your strength level.

This exercise is great for increasing muscle tone and endurance while targeting specific muscle groups.

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