All About Incline Push-Ups

Incline push-ups represent a powerful method for fortifying one’s chest musculature while concurrently sharpening the shoulders and triceps. 

For those who encounter difficulties with basic push-ups, incline variations provide a suitable starting point, as they decrease the amount of weight being lifted and, thus, mitigate stress on the elbows. Novices and expert fitness lovers can benefit from incline push-ups to increase their upper body strength.

Including incline push-ups into your workout regimen can lead to amazing gains in your strength, muscle mass, and the shoring up of underdeveloped shoulder areas.

Incline push-ups stand as one of the outstanding conditioning exercises for outdoor athletes. These exercises can be performed anywhere, at any time, and do not require expensive equipment or ongoing gym expenses. All that is required is a secure surface, such as a table, desk, or wall.   

The Standard Push-Ups vs Incline Push-Ups

incline push ups vs regular pushups

The Standard Push-Up remains a nail in the fitness world, serving as a variety of strength-training workout that leverages the use of the arms to raise and lower the body in a flat, horizontal position. 

With the ability to fortify multiple muscle groups, including the chest, arms, deltoids, lower back, abs, and glutes, the classic push-up continues to stand the test of time as one of the most effective exercises of whole-body conditioning.

On the other hand, the Incline Push-Up provides an alternative for those seeking a slightly less challenging exercise option. The incline angle at which the exercise is performed reduces the body weight lifted, leading to reduced stress on the elbows. 

As a result, Incline Push-Ups are a fantastic starting point for individuals looking to build upper body strength, particularly for beginners or those struggling with the traditional push-up form.

Moreover, Incline Push-Ups target a distinct set of muscles, with the inclined surface engaging more of the lower chest, shoulders, and triceps than a standard push-up. 

As such, incorporating Incline Push-Ups into your exercise routine can help to build additional strength, enhance muscle mass, and improve any weak areas in the shoulders.

Finally, Incline Push-Ups offer a highly accessible and cost-effective way to build strength and power, as the only requirement is a stable surface, such as a wall, desk, table, or countertop, making it an ideal option for outdoor athletes and fitness enthusiasts who desire to maximize their workouts, regardless of location.

Incline Push-Ups Variations

incline push ups calories burned

The incline push-up can be changed by adjusting the altitude of the surface from which you are doing the push-up. If you desire to simplify the incline push-up, you can place your hands on a wall or a steeper surface.

You should escalate the difficulty as you become more proficient at incline push-ups, reaching a threshold of 15-20 consecutive repetitions. 

This can be achieved by lowering the height of the bench or attempting the incline push-up on a less stable surface, such as a stability ball or medicine ball push-up.

Incline Wall Push-ups 

wall push up exercise for beginners

To perform an incline wall push-up, stand facing a wall with your feet hip-width apart and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the wall. 

Keep your body straight, making a straight line from your head to your heels, and then bend your elbows to lower your body towards the wall. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

This variation of push-ups can be useful for beginners new to push-ups or those looking to gradually build upper body strength and core stability before moving on to more challenging push-up variations. 

It’s also a great way to work on proper form and body alignment while building strength in the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

How to Do a Wall Push-Up

  • It is necessary to maintain good form and control throughout the exercise. 
  • Your body should remain straight and in line from your head to your heels, and your core should be engaged to help maintain stability.
  • Make sure to inhale as you lower yourself towards the wall and exhale as you push yourself away from the wall.
  • Start with 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions and gradually increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger. 
  • Remember to take breaks if you feel tired and to listen to your body. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop and speak with a doctor or physical therapist.
  • It’s also important to keep your movements smooth and controlled, avoiding any jerky or swinging movements that can cause injury. 

The incline wall push-up is a great exercise for building upper body strength and is a great option for those new to strength training or looking for an easier alternative to the traditional push-up.

Stability Ball Push-Ups

stability ball push up and knee tuck

Using a stability ball for push-ups makes the workout more challenging, as the unstable surface requires more core engagement and stability to maintain proper form. 

This can also lead to greater activation of smaller stabilizing muscles, which can help improve overall strength and stability.

Push-ups on a stability ball can increase the range of motion, leading to a deeper stretch in the chest muscles and greater activation of the shoulders and triceps.

Remember that stability ball push-ups may be more challenging than traditional push-ups. Start with a smaller ball and gradually work to a larger one as your strength and stability improve.

How to Do a Stability Ball Push-Up

  • Lie down with your chest on the stability ball.
  • Place your hands on the ball, shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean forward so your chest is directly over the ball and you are supported on your toes.
  • Push your body up until your arms are almost straight, but do not lock your elbows.
  • Breathe out and extend your arms to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Benefits of Incline Push-Ups

  • Improve posture and overall body alignment.
  • Increase upper body strength, specifically in the chest, shoulders, triceps, and back.
  • Target the lower chest muscles more effectively than regular push-ups
  • Increase core stability and strength as the abs, and lower back muscles are engaged during the exercise
  • Improve coordination and balance as the body has to work to maintain stability while performing the exercise
  • Enhance overall athletic performance by improving upper body strength and power.


What are Incline Push-Ups?

Incline push-ups vary from traditional push-ups focusing on upper body strength and stability. The main difference between the traditional push-up and the incline push-up is the angle at which you perform the exercise.

In an incline push-up, the hands are placed on an elevated surface, such as a bench, step, or platform, which increases the difficulty level.

What are the Benefits of Incline Push-Ups?

Incline push-ups provide a range of physical and mental benefits, including increased upper body strength, improved posture, and stability.

They are also a convenient and effective way to build strength, especially for individuals new to strength training or who may have difficulty with traditional push-ups.

How Many Incline Push-Ups Should I do?

Perform 3–5 sets of 10–15 repetitions for incline push-ups.

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