Decline Push-Ups – How To Do, Benefits, And Variations

Decline Push-Ups

Fitness trends and workout styles are changing more than ever now. In this season of new beginnings and aspirations, let me introduce you to a new kind of workout. They are the decline push-ups! You might have heard about normal push-ups. But what about the new fitness trend, which is the decline push-ups?

Decline push-ups are a specific kind of push-up variation that can provide maximum benefits for your health. These are practiced by placing your feet on a higher surface and doing the normal push-ups. Believe me, they are a bit tougher than the actual push-ups! But they are worth it! Many studies and research have pointed out the multiple benefits of doing decline push-ups. They have elaborated on the positive implications of making it a daily part of your life which can even improve your cardiac health! So dive into the article and know the multifarious benefits of doing the decline push-ups!

Decline Push-Up: An Overview

This is one of the toughest variations of regular push-ups. It is done when you lift your feet on a bench or elevated surface and balances your body weight using the upper part of your body. Decline Push-Ups require more resistance and endurance. Thereby it can result in more effective results.

When you consistently follow these push-ups, your upper pectoral muscles and front shoulders get the maximum benefits. A study published in JAMA Network Open journal in 2019 has evaluated the benefits of doing these push-ups and has found that consistent practice of these can improve your cardiovascular health.

What are the muscles that are involved in Decline push-ups?

Consistently practicing decline push-ups involve the strengthening and toning of certain muscles in your body. Some of them are listed below:

🔸 Chest muscles or pectoral muscles: These are the muscle group that bridges your chest with the upper arm and shoulder bones. The four muscles that are part of the pectoral muscles are Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor, Serratus Anterior,  and Subsclavius.

🔸 Deltoids in the Shoulders: One of the pivotal muscles that get maximum benefits when you do the decline push-ups are the anterior and medial deltoids.

🔸 Muscles on the back of your arms:  These are triceps brachii muscles which are three-headed in structure. It is involved in the movement of your arms and in maintaining their stability.

🔸 Core abdominal muscles: These consist of five muscles group. They are crucial in supporting your organs during workouts and maintaining consistent pressure in your abdomen.

🔸 Serratus Anterior:  Among these, muscles under your underarms get the maximum strengthening when you do the decline push-ups. They are crucial in the movement of your arms around the rib cage.

Also read: Best Long-Head Bicep Exercises To Build Strong And Massive Arms

How to do Decline Push-Ups

Before starting your first decline push-up workout, it is necessary to start low. This means you should first try working out using lower platforms. When you practice on lower platforms, there is less chance for you to get hurt. Slowly, you can progress into working out using more elevated platforms. Now check out below how to do these push-ups.

Step 1:  Start by placing your hands on the floor at a shoulder-width level. Along that, place your feet slowly onto a chair or heightened surface. Now bring your body to a downward angle. This is how you should start your workout.

Step 2: By keeping your elbows close to your body, inhale as you lean towards the ground. Make sure your body is in a straight position, without any bending of any sort. Lean until your triceps comes parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Now you have to exhale as you push back to the normal position. Make sure to stay at a balanced and rigid pace. By this, you can make sure of a full range of motion in your body.

Step 4:  Repeat the whole process.  If you are a beginner, you should practice 3-5 reps and if you are at an intermediary level, you can do 6-17 reps. For experts or advanced-level athletes, 18-plus reps are suggested.

Benefits of Decline Push-Ups

Many benefits are reported for decline push-ups. Some of them are listed below:

  1. You get a strong upper chest: When you consistently practice decline push-ups, more pressure is applied to your upper chest. This will enhance your upper body strength. It can positively affect you to have a stronger upper chest.
  1. It can save your shoulders: Decline push-ups are known to build the stabilizer muscles which are located around your shoulders. These are some dominant muscles that shield your shoulder from injuries. So consistently doing the decline push-ups can improve the strength of your shoulder.
  1. Pops up your abs: Practicing decline push-ups can build your core strength, and also will help you to build those abs that you were waiting for a long time. You need to do more decline push-ups to get those abs seen. So start working out today itself and do some extra push-ups.

Variations of the Decline Push-Ups

There are some variations to decline push-ups. These can also provide somewhat similar benefits to the decline of push-ups. Check out the list below.

Forward Grip Push-Ups

This push-up is a better way to strengthen your chest. Place yourself in a plank position. Lower your body as you inhale and bring your chest to touch the ground. Return to the beginning position as you exhale thoroughly. Make sure to repeat this movement for 4-16 reps.

Pike Push-Ups

By consistently doing the practice, you can build your shoulders, upper chest, and triceps. To carry out Pike Push Ups, bend your body in a downward position. Make sure to keep your core tight. Inhale and bend your arms as you touch the floor with your head. Go back to the beginning position as you exhale. Continue this movement 3-10 times.

Pseudo Push-Ups

Start by putting yourself in a plank position. Place your hands close to your hips. Inhale and bend your body towards the floor. Try to maintain a straight line as you lower your triceps parallel to the floor. Come back to the starting position as you exhale. Continue this for 3-10 reps.

Explosive Incline Push-Ups

Stand in a plank position and place your hands on a lifted surface. Keep your body in a straight line. Inhale and lower your body towards the elevated surface. Make sure that your chest touches the elevated surface. Now push back your body and leave your hands from the platform. Exhale along this.  Start the next movement immediately after you have completed the first one. Make sure to repeat this for 5-14 reps.

Common errors

Some common mistakes happen when practicing these decline push-ups. So make sure to avoid these mistakes. Know what are these mistakes in the lists below:

Drooping your middle portion: This is one of the serious errors that you might make during the process of decline push-ups.  Before committing to doing these push-ups, you have to make sure that your core and torso are stiff. If they are not stiff, your middle body can sag and this can cause back pain. To make your core stronger, practice doing the modified plank and begin by committing yourself to simpler forms of push-up exercises.

Irregular neck position: When you do the decline push-up workout make sure to place your neck properly. Keep your neck in a neutral alignment with your spine to avoid any sort of neck injuries.

Stiffened elbows: On doing the decline push-ups, make sure to keep your elbows in a slightly unlocked position. Locked elbows can cause pressure on your joints and this further can cause joint pain or injuries.

Hands placed too forward: Make sure to place your hands under your shoulders when you do the decline push-ups. If your hands are placed too far forward, it can result in strain or injury. Keep your elbows 45 degrees apart from your body.

Movements that are in a limited range: On doing decline push-ups it is mandatory to have a full range of motion. Otherwise, you won’t get the full benefit of this workout. Or you can also try doing other sorts of workouts like incline push-ups, wall push-ups, or knee-push-ups. This will ensure you a full range of motion and maximum health benefits.

What are some of the precautionary measures?

Some of the precautionary measures that you need to take before attempting the decline push-ups are listed below

⚫ Do not attempt doing decline push-ups if you have some sort of shoulder, elbow, or wrist injury. Make sure to consult your doctor or physiotherapist before attempting to do the push-ups.

⚫ If you are experiencing any sort of shoulder pain or wrist pain during the workout, end the session right away.

⚫ To save your wrists from injuries, place your hands on push-up bars or dumbbells which will place them in a balanced position.

⚫ Try to repeat the movements as many times. You are advised to work out for 3-4 sets which include 8-15 repetitions.


Decline push-ups are becoming one of the innovative fitness trends among fitness freaks. Through this article, you could understand the various benefits of making decline push-ups a part of your daily life. You could also get an overview of what decline push-ups are and what are the steps to do them properly. It conveyed the multiple benefits of consistently practicing decline push-ups and which are the muscles that get strengthened due to the practice. On further reading, you could also get an idea of some of the common errors that you might make while attempting the decline push-ups for the first time and how to prevent them. I hope you did get a coherent idea of how to do decline push-ups and how effective they can be for your health. I wish this new year be the kickstart for your new experiments with push-ups and various other workouts!

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