If you are into fitness then you have likely pondered, “What are the decline push ups benefits?”
You’ve seen the exercise, people recommend it often, and it looks challenging enough.
But what would you get out of doing it? In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the decline push up and the advantages it offers.
What Are the Decline Push Ups Benefits?
Decline push ups offer many health and fitness benefits. But perhaps the most apparent one is that they work the entire chest area. Specifically, they emphasize the upper chest because of your body’s position, but your mid and lower chest also get a solid workout.
By far, push ups are the best bodyweight exercise for your chest, triceps, and shoulders. You can do them anywhere, choose from countless variations, and manipulate the difficulty to fit your strength level. (1)
Benefits of Decline Push Ups
- Works multiple muscle groups
- Can be done anywhere and anytime
- No Equipment necessary (just a low table, bench, or similar)
- Works the chest from a unique and different angle
- Adds variety to your fitness regime that most people do not do
- Is higher resistance than classic push up, but still a simple motion (unlike diamond push ups)
Beyond that, decline push ups are a well-rounded exercise that works multiple muscle groups. Specifically:
- Chest (with emphasis on the mid and upper chest)
- Shoulders (mainly the front deltoid head)
- Core (abs, obliques, lower back, and glutes)
- Serratus anterior
- Upper back musculature
Plus, decline push ups are a fantastic exercise to include in a chest routine. Given their unique biomechanics, this push up is among the most challenging variations, coming second only to diamond push ups.
And, should they get to be too easy, you can further overload them by placing weighted vests or a backpack full of objects on your back. You can even wrap a resistance band over your hands and behind your back for extra resistance.
Essential Considerations for Decline Push Ups
There are plenty of decline push ups benefits. But, as with most exercises, we also need to be careful and keep some things in mind. In doing so, we can get more out of each movement and stay safe.
Most notably, the effectiveness of decline push ups depends on body angle. The more vertical your body is (by elevating your feet higher), the more your upper chest and shoulders are engaged.
If you become too vertical, the emphasis moves away from your chest and moves to your shoulders. (2)
So, instead of always striving to elevate your feet higher, make the movement more challenging in other ways. For example, put some heavy objects in a backpack, put that on your back, and do the exercise.
Alternatively, wrap a resistance band over your hands and behind your back for extra resistance, especially near the top. You can even have a training partner put some pressure on your back as you push yourself for an extra challenge.
Decline Push Ups As Part of a Push Up Workout
To realize and maximize decline push ups benefits, include them in a push up workout. One of the best home chest workouts is a push up workout. You do not need equipment or weights for a supreme chest workout. You only need the time-tested push-up!
And given the increased difficulty of decline push ups, they need to be upfront in the push up rotation. So you do the more difficult push ups first, and as your pecs fatigue you do the easier ones at the end (like incline push ups).
Proper Warm-up is Essential
Aside from the challenge, you should also warm up correctly each time and perform each repetition with good technique. In doing so, you can get more out of each repetition, keep aches at bay, and reduce your risk of injuries.
So, before each workout, take at least five to ten minutes to warm your body up. This can be a combination of some light cardio and dynamic movements to prepare your joints and muscles. After that, you can begin with a couple of less challenging push-ups to get in the zone.
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- Cherney, K. (2019). Incline Pushups: How-to, Tips, and Vs. Decline Pushups. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/incline-pushups#how-to.
- Quinn, E. (2021). How to Do Push-Ups for Upper Body Strength. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/the-push-up-exercise-3120574.