Push Ups for Muscle Mass

push ups for muscle mass

Push ups for muscle

Pushups are helpful in building upper body strength. They work the triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders. When done in the right form, they can also strengthen the lower back and the core by pulling in the abdominal muscles.

Pushups is a fast and effective way to build strength. It can be done on almost anywhere and does not require any equipment. They are also basic exercises used for community sports training or physical education and are usually used in military training. It is also a common form of punishment used in the military, school sports, and other forms of warfare.

Benefits of Push-Ups

You already know that push-ups are an easy way to start building your chest, shoulders, and triceps, but there are other benefits of push up that you may not have thought of.

  • They build strength as effectively as bench press

Participants in one study gained as much strength by performing push-ups as others who did theirs with weighted chest presses So don’t worry if people use all the benches on your upper body day.

  • They are an easy way to measure overall fitness

Push-ups can be an easy way to measure your fitness progress. One study found that the number of push-ups performed in 30 seconds was associated with better heart health over a 10-year period in male firefighters.

  • They can also improve your fitness

Push-ups can contribute significantly to cardiovascular health such as chest and triceps size.

Muscles worked in push ups

While push-ups mainly target the chest muscles, arms and shoulders, the support needed from other muscles leads to a wider range of muscles associated with exercise.


The rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis contract during push-ups to hold the body down and keep the legs and chest aligned. The rectus abdominis enters the spans the abdomen and is the most prominent abdominal muscles. The transversus abdominis lies within the abdomen, wrapped around the abdominal area.


The inner part of the deltoid muscle is one of the major adductors attached to the shoulder, moving the arms further over the chest during the upward push-up phase. It also helps to control the speed of movement during the lower phase. The deltoid attaches to parts of the clavicle and scapula, just above the shoulder joint on one side, and outside the humerus bone on the other.

Chest muscles

Push up requires the work of many muscle groups, one of the main muscle groups being the chest muscles, the pectoralis major and the minor. These are the two main muscles of the chest and the main opposing muscle group of the upper body. When you press and lower the body during pushing, the pectoralis major does most of the work. As a result, these muscles become extremely strong and can be described as lean muscle after repeated push-ups.

Stabilizers: rear body

The push-up depends on the stabilizing muscles as the body is pushed and lowered. The erector spinae is the key to stability in the back. It is made up of three muscles including the spinal, longissimus, and iliocostalis.

Triceps brachii

While the deltoids and pectoralis major muscles work horizontally to adduct the upper arms during the upward push-up phase, the triceps brachii muscles also work hard extending the elbow joints so that the arms can be fully extended. The triceps also control the speed of elbow-joint flexion during the lower phase of exercise.

The closer the hands are together during a push up, the harder the triceps works. The muscles are divided into three heads – the lateral head, the long head, and the middle head. The lateral and medial heads attach to the back of the humerus bone, while the long head attaches to the back of the shoulder socket on one side; all three heads meet and attach behind the elbow.


The stabilizers include the forearm and wrist muscles, the knee extensors, and the hip / spine flexors, all of which work seamlessly to maintain the plank position in the standard prone push up.


During this exercise, the short head of the biceps brachii muscle acts as a powerful stabilizer. This means that the muscle works on both sides – the elbow and the shoulder – to help stabilize the joints.

Tendons and joints

Inner muscles that support the function of the fingers, wrists, forearms, and elbows are also used isometrically. Another push change requires the arms at different heights to effectively engage the rotator cuff.


Types of push ups for muscle growth
Military push up

push ups for muscle

What It Does

It strengthens the upper body – especially the chest, shoulders, and triceps – as well as the spinal and back muscles.

How to Do It

  • Start at a regular push up position, with your feet together or at least 12 inches wide, hands flat on the floor under the shoulders, and arms straight.
  • Breathe in as you bend your elbows. Lower your chest slightly below the level of your elbow, and then exhale as you move back to the starting point with one repetition.
Wide hands push up

  • What It Does

It strengthens the upper body and the core, with a strong focus on the pectoral muscles.

  • How to Do It

Perform a firm push-up, as described above, but your hands are far away on each side, about two feet apart. Keep your elbows running back and forth throughout the movement.

Triangle (Diamond) Push-Up

push ups for muscle

  • What It Does

It strengthens the upper and lower body, with a strong focus on the triceps.

  • How to Do It

Start at the place of the plank, your hands intertwined and face inwards at 45 degrees so that your index fingers and thumbs touch to form a triangle (or diamond). Keep your elbows firmly in your body and bend them down to lower your chest toward the triangle. Keep the triangle straight under your chest as you do this exercise.

Pike Push-Up

  • What It Does

It strengthens the upper body and overall, with a strong focus on the shoulders.

  • How to Do It

Start at a downward yoga ground, with your feet and hands wider than shoulder width. Keep your hips high, heels low, and keep the V-shaped position bent as you bend your elbows and lower your head down between your hands. Reverse the movement to the starting position with one repetition.

Push-Up Super (Hindu)

push ups for muscle

  • What It Does

It works on the shoulders, triceps, and core and improves flexibility.

  • How to Do It

Slowly swoop from the downward dog to the cobra pose: from the dog’s horizontal position, bend the elbows and lower your nose down between your hands, like a pike push-up, but without getting up, keep moving your chest forward to slide the chin, chest, and rib cage between your hands. As your ribs meet your hands, begin to bend your head and body upwards. Continue with this arc upwards until your arms are straight, the hips are pressed downwards, and your back is hyperextended in the cobra pose.

Sphinx Push-Up (Triceps Extension)
  • What It Does

It strengthens the upper and lower body, with a strong focus on the triceps.

  • How to Do It

Start at the plank position, your arms down on the floor, shoulder width apart and aligned. Push up with your triceps to lift your elbows down; continue until your arms are fully extended, then lower your elbows to just above the ground by one repetition. The farther you place your arms around, the harder it becomes.

Spiderman (Side Kick) Push-Up

push ups for muscle

  • What It Does

It strengthens the core by adding to normal push-up muscles.

  • How to Do It

Start with the standard push position. As you bend down, simultaneously pull one knee to the side and up to touch your elbow, your leg parallel to the ground. Your knee should touch your elbow in the lowest push-up position. Return back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Cross body push up
  • What It Does

It strengthens the upper body, with a strong focus on the spine, hip flexors, and shoulders.

  • How to Do It

Assume a standard push position. As you lower yourself, simultaneously take one leg and cross it beneath your body as you rotate your hips to the floor. Reverse the movement to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Archer push up

  • What It Does

A higher percentage of body weight is applied to one arm, while the opposite arm helps.

  • How to Do It

Assume a push-up position, with wide arms placed outwards about 45 degrees. Lower yourself at the angle to the other side to lower your shoulder to your hand on the same side, while the other arm is easy to extend completely.

Push back to reverse the movement and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. It can help keep your feet wider.

Typewriter Push-Up

This variation is similar to an archer, but instead of returning to the starting position between all the push-ups, move your chest side to side horizontally and over the ground, while extending the opposing arm each time.

Power and Clap Push-Ups
  • What It Does

Improves power in the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

  • How to Do It

From a normal push-up position, lower your chest slightly below the level of your bent elbow, then push upwards with sufficient force so that your hands leave to the ground a few inches. Repeat. Be sure to keep your back throughout the movement.

Claps: once you’ve mastered the power pushups, you can further exercise by adding a clap, which requires a lot of energy to achieve the required airtime. With constant clapping, do a powerful push-up but with greater force. While your hands are in the air, clap your hands under your chest. Land with soft elbows in a push up form and continue lowering until your chest is below the level of the elbow.

Behind-the-Back Claps: Do the same exercise, but clap your hands behind your back rather than under your chest. Be careful not to bend at the hips.

Triple claps: Do the same exercise, but clap your hands under your chest, then behind your back, and then again under your chest, all before touching the floor.

Flying push ups
  • What It Does

It develops more dynamic power.

  • How to Do It

As with clapping, start at a standard push up position and lower your chest to below the level of your bent elbow. Then jump up and lift both hands and feet off the ground. Try to keep your back as flat as possible, but you may need to lift your hips slightly to produce strength. It also helps to keep your feet wide. Land in a push up form then continues downward. Repeat.

Clapping Jacks: Do the same exercise, but clap the hands and feet together while you are in the air. It requires a lot of airtime and power.

One-Arm Push-Up

push ups for muscle

  • What It Does

It replicates the weight on one arm and continues to use the core to strengthen it.

  • How to Do It

As it sounds – do a push-up with one arm placed under your chest and the other arm at your back. This takes more balance; it helps to keep your feet wide. Keep a flat back and level hips throughout this movement. If you want more challenge, choose a two-point push-up: consider a typical push-up area with wide feet, and then raise the arm and opposite leg to form a two-point plank. While keeping the plank firmly, do a push-up. Keep your back low and hips throughout the movement.

Can push ups everyday build muscle

Doing pushups daily helps builds strength and muscle tone in your upper body. Other potential benefits include improved heart health and better support around shoulder joints. The pushup uses your body weight as resistance, working your upper body and spine at the same time.

The good thing about pushups is that it will be hard for you and your body to get used to them. Daily Pushups can work if you want a regular exercise routine to follow. You will definitely see a gain in great physical strength if you do pushups regularly.

For best results, keep adding variety to the types of pushups you do. You can also follow the “pushup” challenge which gradually increases the number of pushups each week.

How many reps of push ups for muscle growth

The short answer is as many good reps as possible for each set. When your body has gotten used to it then challenge yourself by adding push ups, this will help you build muscle. You can challenge yourself by continuing to add weights and changing your push ups. In addition to using a heavy vest or resistance band, you can include;

  • Slower rep speed

Performing push ups at low rep speed eliminates the pressure and keeps endless tension in your working muscles.

Momentary muscular failure

The important thing is not to stop your set when you start to feel a little uncomfortable. Go ahead. Perform each set in an extremely high degree of effort. Ideally to the point where you will not be able, despite your best efforts, to complete some repetition in good form.

Push ups for muscle endurance

Consider doing as many push-ups as possible until your muscles reach the point of fatigue. Unlike muscle strength tests, which end very quickly, muscle endurance tests can last a minute or more. These severe tests measure how often you can force your muscles to contract before they give up.

Push-ups are already difficult for some people, making them an exciting option for endurance muscle testing. On the other hand, people can do multiple push-ups and pass a strength-boosting test, such as the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) push-up test.

On the other hand, the other person may not be able to do more than a few push- ups, which means that a push-up exercise may be a test of muscle strength rather than muscle endurance.


Those who want to improve their push up should strengthen the muscles involved in the exercise to make the movement easier. Strengthening the muscles actually gives you more endurance because if you are strong, it will be easier to complete. The easier the movement is the more times you can do it which means you have more muscle endurance.

Not only should you work on improving your push-up, you should also strengthen the pectoralis, triceps, and deltoids, which are three major contributors to the push up. Strengthening these muscles will make push-ups easier and allow you to do more repetitions.