Which Muscles Do Push-Ups Work Out?


Quick Answer

Doing a push-up will work out the muscles found in the arms, chest, shoulders, back and neck including the triceps, biceps, pectoralis, deltoids, serratus anterior, the abdominal muscles and the coracobrachialis. The push-up is considered one of the best exercises because it is simple and can be performed without weights from the comfort of home.

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Full Answer

To perform a standard push-up, a person will place their palms under their shoulders and then place their feet together with the toes parallel to the floor. The body will be parallel to the floor as well. Now the person will lower down slowly while keeping the back and chest flat. They go down as low as they can without touching the floor before returning to the initial position. This is a standard push-up.

There are variations of the standard push-up that allow for a different workout including the wide grip push-ups and the one arm push-ups. To perform the wide grip push-up, the arms are simply moved wider apart. This places more stress on the chest and targets those muscles more. To perform the one arm push-up, simply one arm is used at a time. This push-up can only be completed with proper form by those who have mastered the other push-up forms. It places additional stress on a single arm causing each arm to be targeted separately for increased fitness.

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