Incline Push-Ups VS Decline Push-Ups: Important To Know The Difference

Incline Push-Ups and Decline Push-Ups

New Year is here. Maybe you have made new resolutions for 2023 and will keep doing so.Β What about some fitness goals and resolutions to follow this year? If you are searching for some fitness practices to follow, I will say that it is better if you become an expert in practicing push-ups. Push-ups can be a bit difficult, but they are worth it. There are many variations to push-ups and the most common among those are the incline push-ups and decline push-ups. So what are these push-ups and how can you master them? That is what I will be elaborating on in this article.

Going through the article, you can find what incline push-ups are and what are decline push-ups. On further reading, you will be guided on how to do them properly and what kind of benefits they can have on your body.  As a final note, you can compare the features and benefits of both these workouts and decide for yourself what suits best for you. So enjoy this reading journey and get your fitness sneakers ready to hit the gym!

Different Types Of Push-ups

Push-ups are the favorite form of exercise for fitness enthusiasts. It has proven beneficial in helping to build your upper body and overall core strength. For anyone interested in doing push-ups, it is mandatory to know that there are various versions of push-ups available. If you are a beginner, it is always better to start with a relatively easy variation.

If you are an expert, you can try challenging versions of push-ups. In any case, doing push-ups as part of a strength workout or bodyweight exercise practice can reap multifarious benefits for your body.

Check out below some variations of push-ups you can practice for enhancing better results for your mind and body.

  • Bent-Knee Push-Up: This is a standard push-up style that is practiced on your knees, not on your toes.
  • Incline Push-Up: Using an elevated surface, you do a normal kind of push-up.
  • Stability- Ball Push-Up: This is practiced using a stability ball and doing push-ups using it.
  • Decline Push-Up: For this kind, you lift your feet on an elevated surface doing the normal push-ups.
  • Clapping Push-Up: You clap in the middle of a rigorous push-up workout.
  • Diamond Push-Up:  In this, your hands are clenched together, and form a diamond shape on the floor.
  • Push-Up with Lat Row:  Use dumbbells for this push-up and it adds intensity to your workout.
  • Medicine Ball Push-Up:  Place one hand on top of a medicine ball and do the standard push-up.

What are Incline push-ups?

Incline push-ups are one of the variations of a standard push-up. Instead of placing your hands and feet parallel to the ground as in a standard push-up, you perform an incline push-up by placing your hands in an elevated position. This creates an inclined angle to your whole body starting from head to foot.

Incline push-ups

Incline push-ups are a bit different from your normal push-up routine. It employs your chest muscles and also your core muscles which will, as a result, preserve the strength of your back. Compared to traditional push-ups which provide maximum benefit for your chest, arms, and shoulders, incline push-ups relieve the force from your hands and shoulders and focus on your chest to give it an enhanced workout effect. 

How to do Incline push-ups?

Before jumping into incline push-ups, make sure to find an elevated surface. You can use exercise boxes, retaining walls, a fence, or a bench. One thing you have to take care of is to make sure these surfaces are not slippery and sliding. Place your hands at full shoulder width apart. Now check out these steps to perform the incline push-ups most easily and effectively.

πŸ‘‰ Step 1:  Begin the workout by standing in front of the elevated surface and squatting down. Place both hands on the sides of this surface. Maintain the distance between your hands to shoulder-width apart.

πŸ‘‰ Step 2Now your hands have been placed in the right position, it is time to place your body into a plank posture.  Ensure that your body is in a straight line and your neck is in a straight line with your spine. Do not sag your lower back.

πŸ‘‰ Step 3: Using your arms, bend and bring your chest downwards and directly towards the elevated surface. After doing this, bring your arms back to a straight position and yourself into a straight posture.

πŸ‘‰ Step 4: As a beginner, you can repeat this workout 10 times in 3 sets. Enhance the repetitions as you get familiarized with this workout.

Benefits of Incline push-ups

There are many benefits reported for incline push-ups. Some of them are listed below:

βœ” It builds your upper-body strength: Consistently practicing incline push-ups can enhance your upper-body strength considerably.  Some of the muscle groups that are benefited from doing this workout include your anterior deltoids, triceps, pectoralis major, etc.

βœ” It strengthens your lower chest muscles: One of the crucial factors that makes incline push-ups different from decline push-ups is that it strengthens the lower chest muscles when decline push-ups focus on your upper chest muscles.

βœ” It enhances your stability: When you practice incline push-ups, you have to rely on your core muscles and lower back muscles. This will aid in increasing your stability. It has also proven beneficial in strengthening the obliques on the sides of your belly and muscles in your back such as erector spinae muscles.

βœ” They are relatively easier than standard push-ups:  If you are a beginner to push-ups, it is better to start with practicing incline push-ups. Because this will apply more weight to your lower body and also put less force on your shoulders.

Get more information: Incline Push Ups – How To Do, Benefits, And Variations

What are Decline push-ups?

Decline push-up is practiced by placing your legs and feet on an elevated surface. It makes your body form a declining angle from the top of your feet to your head.

Decline push-ups

To practice decline push-ups, you can use the same elevated surface you have used to do incline push-ups. Some of the surfaces you can use for this are exercise boxes, retaining walls, chairs, etc. Unlike incline push-ups, you don’t need to have stable surfaces. You can practice decline push-ups on unstable surfaces like Bosu balls or yoga balls.

How to do Decline push-ups?

Go through these steps to know how to do the decline push-ups effectively. Check out the steps below:

πŸ‘‰ Step 1:  By placing your back towards the elevated surface, kneel on the floor. Place your hands on the floor and keep your shoulders over your wrists keeping them at a 45-degree angle.

πŸ‘‰ Step 2:  Make sure to brace your glutes, core, and quads.

πŸ‘‰ Step 3: By extending your elbows, force your body into the floor and return to the beginning posture.

πŸ‘‰ Step 4:  Begin by repeating 10 times in a 3-set group. When you become more expert, increase the number of these sets.

Benefits of Decline push-ups

As per studies, many benefits are reported for consistently practicing decline push-ups. The major muscles that get the maximum benefit from doing decline push-ups are the pectoral muscles, deltoids, triceps brachii, core abdominal muscles, and serratus anterior. Check out the benefits offered by declining push-ups here:

βœ” Strengthen your upper body: One of the crucial benefits of doing decline push-ups is that they can strengthen your upper body. Studies have shown that a consistent practice of decline push-ups can lead to better upper pectorals and front deltoids which are the muscles found in your chest and shoulders respectively. 

βœ” Builds attractive abs for you: If you want to show off your abs on your next beach vacation, better hurry on practicing those decline push-ups soon. Studies have shown the invariable benefits of doing decline push-ups for building your core strength and maintaining strong abs for your body.

βœ” Activates your shoulders:  Consistent practice of decline push-ups can lead you to have strong anterior deltoids which can protect your shoulders from any injuries. So you can choose to do decline push-ups as a means of effective exercise for your shoulder activation.

Get more information: Decline Push-Ups – How To Do, Benefits, And Variations

Incline Push-ups VS Decline Push-ups

Incline Push-UpDecline Push-Up
PositionYour hands are placed on an elevated surface which lifts your upper body away from ground level.Your feet are placed on an elevated surface making your body incline to a downward position where your hands are on the ground.
Muscles that are involvedWorks for your lower chest muscles and anterior deltoids, triceps, and pectoralis major.Works for your upper chest muscles and upper body muscles such as deltoids, triceps, abdominal muscles, serratus anterior, etc.
BenefitsEasier for beginners.
Builds lower chest muscles. Improves stability and endurance.
Improves your upper chest.
Protect your shoulders.
Build abs.


On going through the article one can understand that there are different variations to the push-ups available. Among them, two kinds of push-ups are becoming popular and they are incline push-ups and decline push-ups. Both these push-ups strengthen some of your muscles and build endurance. While incline push-ups build your lower chest muscles, decline push-ups strengthen your upper-body strength. There is no right way or best one to choose between these two workouts. Both benefit your body in various ways and strengthen your core muscle groups.

Still, if you are new to push-up variations, it is ideal to start with incline push-ups as they are relatively simple and easier to practice. Once you have practiced and reached an intermediary level, you can try to decline push-ups. It is also suggested that you can switch between these two kinds of push-ups and thereby reap maximum health benefits for your whole body. Push-ups are an excellent way to improve your core strength and endurance. But it is always better to start doing simpler versions and move on to the advanced levels.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *