Incline Push-Up Vs Decline Push-Up

Push-ups are an effective and effortless workout into a physical fitness routine, requiring no pricey equipment. Push-ups are the perfect option for people who need a low-intensity strength and conditioning routine that can easily be incorporated into their lifestyle. 

With a push-up variation to suit everyone’s fitness level and workout goal, there’s hardly a point where push-ups could be more beneficial. Push-ups can be equally beneficial to women and men, as they can be built to boost upper body strength and endurance. 

Exercises that use push-ups are a feature of numerous fitness programs, including youth, general fitness, and military training. In either age group, everyone should be able to get the fitness benefits of push-ups by building strength in their arms. 

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One big advantage of push-ups is that they can be performed anywhere, without equipment or gym costs. People can select from various push-up variations to fit their desires for physical fitness and strengthen body muscles.

Muscle Activation During Incline and Decline Push-Ups

Push-ups are one of the most fundamental yet useful exercises that work the upper body muscles. They can be performed in different variations to target specific muscle groups. 

Incline and decline push-ups are modified versions that alter the angle at which the body is placed, thereby increasing or decreasing the power of the exercise.  

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Incline Push-Ups

incline push up biceps

Incline push-ups are a revised version of the standard push-up where the feet and the hands are placed on a stable surface like a bench or a step. This variation puts less pressure on the shoulder joints and emphasizes the lower chest and triceps.

Research shows that incline push-ups target the lower portion of the pectoralis major muscle more than the standard push-up. It also activates the anterior deltoids, triceps, and core muscles.

Decline Push-ups

decline push up vs incline bench press

Decline push-ups are another variation of the standard push-up, where the feet are placed on a raised surface, and the hands are placed on the ground. 

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This variation works on the upper chest and anterior deltoids and is regarded as more challenging than incline push-ups.

Research indicates that declined push-ups activate the clavicular portion of the pectoralis major, which is reliable for shoulder flexion and horizontal adduction. Besides, it also activates the anterior deltoids and triceps brachii muscles.

Incline Push-Up Vs Decline Push Up

incline push up vs decline push up

Decline push-ups, where more body weight is raised, are more challenging and useful than incline push-ups. The difficulty of the decline variation increases with the height of your feet.

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Incline push-ups are easier due to the exercise angle. Place your hands on a wall or more inclined surface to make them even easier.

 How to Do a Decline Push-Up:

  • Place your hands on the ground shoulder-width separated and your feet on a bench or any raised surface.
  • Make sure your body is straight from your head to your feet.
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  • Lower your body until your chest almost feels the ground.
  • Push your body back up to the starting position.
  • Maintaining proper form during the exercise is important to prevent injuries and get the most out of it.
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Benefits of Decline Push-Ups

Builds a Stronger Upper Chest 

decline push ups with/ shoulder flys

The Decline Push-Up targets your upper chest muscles, which are often hard to target with other training. This exercise is ideal for building a more defined and stronger upper chest.

Increases Muscle Activation

The Decline Push-Up improves the activation of your chest muscles compared to the incline push-up. This exercise effectively adds variety to your workout routine and targets your muscles from a different angle.

Improves Functional Strength

The Decline Push-Up is a hybrid exercise that simultaneously works for numerous muscle groups. This exercise can improve your functional strength, making it easier to perform daily activities.

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Incline Push-Up Exercise Guide: Improve Upper Body Fitness

The incline push-up is a highly influential bodyweight exercise that can help you build upper body strength, tone your chest muscles, and improve your overall fitness. 

It is a variation of the traditional push-up that involves pushing yourself off from a raised surface such as a bench, chair, or sofa instead of the ground. 

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How to Do Incline Push-Ups:

Choose a raised surface, such as a bench, chair, or sofa, and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the surface.

  • Keep your feet together and step back so your body is straight from your head to your heels.
  • Lower your chest toward the surface by bending your elbows and keeping your body straight.
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  • Push yourself back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.
  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Benefits of Incline Push-Ups

Incline push-ups offer numerous benefits, making them great exercise to include in your fitness routine. Here are some of the key advantages:

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Builds Chest Muscles

Incline push-ups are excellent exercises for building chest muscles. By performing this exercise on an inclined surface, you can increase the activation of your lower chest muscles, which is not targeted as effectively with traditional push-ups.

Improves Shoulder Strength

The anterior deltoids, or shoulder muscles, are also heavily involved in the incline push-up exercise. By engaging these muscles, you can improve your shoulder strength and stability.

Targets Triceps

triceps exercises with dumbbells

Incline push-ups effectively target the triceps, the muscles located at the back of your upper arm. By performing this exercise regularly, you can increase the strength and definition of your triceps.

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Builds Upper Chest

In addition to working the lower chest, incline push-ups also target the upper chest muscles, often neglected in traditional push-ups.


Push-ups are an excellent compound exercise for strength training and general conditioning, making them a great choice for outdoor athletes. 

One of the biggest advantages of push-ups is that they can be performed anywhere without equipment.

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To add variety and increase difficulty, you can progress from incline push-ups with your hands raised to decline push-ups with your feet raised. It’s also beneficial to try out different push-up variations to challenge your body in new ways.


What Muscles do Incline Push-Ups Work? 

Incline push-ups mainly work your lower chest muscles and amuse your upper chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. 

By changing the angle of the push-up, incline push-ups shift the stress from the triceps to the chest muscles.

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Are Incline Push-Ups Easier than Regular Push-Ups? 

Yes, incline push-ups are easier than regular push-ups because the raised surface reduces the weight your chest, shoulders, and triceps need to lift. 

This makes incline push-ups a good option for beginners or anyone looking to gradually build their strength.

What Muscles do Declined Push-Ups Work?

Decline pushups especially work your upper chest, shoulders, and triceps but also involve your lower chest and core muscles.

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By changing the pushup angle, decline pushups shift the emphasis from the lower chest to the upper chest muscles.

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