Pushups are one of the most useful bodyweight exercises for building upper body strength and endurance. They are a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.
One variation of the pushup that is often overlooked is the Wide Grip Pushup. This article will examine the Wide Grip Pushup, including its benefits, technique, and safety considerations.
What are Wide Grip Pushups?
A Wide Grip Pushup is a variation in which the hands are placed wider than shoulder-width apart. This wider hand standing shifts the focus from the triceps to the chest muscles, making it a great exercise for building chest strength and size.
Wide Grip Pushups engage the shoulders and triceps less than Regular Pushups.
How to Do Wide Grip Pushups
- Start in a high plank position with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then push back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Wide Grip Push-Up Form
- Begin in a plank position on a mat or soft surface with your hands spread wider than your shoulders.
- Direct your fingers forward or slightly to the outside.
- Slowly bend your elbows to the side, lowering your body towards the ground. Make sure to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Pause when your chest is below your elbows, maintaining proper form.
- Engage your core muscles as you slowly lift your body back up to the starting position, pushing through your chest and arms.
- Repeat for several sets of 8 repetitions, gradually increasing the number of sets and repetitions as you become more comfortable and confident with the exercise.
Are Wide Grip Pushups Better Than Regular Pushups?
Whether Wide Grip Pushups are better than Regular Pushups depends on your fitness goals and the areas you want to target. Wide Grip Pushups build chest strength and size and improve shoulder stability.
Regular Pushups, on the other hand, engage the triceps to a greater degree and are a more well-rounded exercise that targets multiple muscle groups.
To get the most out of your workout, it’s a good idea to include both Wide Grip Pushups and Regular Pushups in your routine. This will help ensure you target all the major muscle groups in your upper body and achieve a balanced workout.
Benefits of Wide Grip Pushups
Builds Chest Strength
Wide Grip Pushups are highly effective for targeting the chest muscles. The wider hand placement places more tension on the chest muscles, helping to build strength and size.
Engages Shoulder Muscles
Wide Grip Pushups also engage the shoulder muscles to a significant degree. This makes it a great exercise for building shoulder stability and strength.
Increases Range of Motion
Wide Grip Pushups require a greater range of motion than Regular Pushups, which can help improve flexibility and joint mobility.
Challenges Core Muscles
Like all pushup variations, Wide Grip Pushups engage the core muscles to stabilize the body during the movement. This can help improve core strength and stability.
Muscles Worked by Wide Grip Pushups
Wide Grip Pushups primarily target the chest muscles, specifically the pectoralis major. However, they also engage the anterior deltoids and triceps to a lesser degree than regular Pushups.
The wider hand placement also requires more activation of the serratus anterior muscle, which is responsible for protracting the shoulder blades and stabilizing the shoulder joint.
Are Wide Grip Pushups Easier?
Whether Wide Grip Pushups are easier or more difficult than Regular Pushups depends on your fitness level and goals.
Generally speaking, Wide Grip Pushups are more challenging than Regular Pushups because they require greater activation of the chest muscles and involve a greater range of motion.
However, regular pushups may be more challenging if you have weak triceps or limited shoulder mobility. As with any exercise, starting with proper form and gradually increasing the intensity as your fitness level improves is important.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Wide Grip Pushups
Compared to Regular Pushups, Wide Grip Pushups have some advantages and disadvantages:
Greater Chest Activation
Wide Grip Pushups highlight the chest muscles, making it a great exercise for targeting this area.
Increases Range of Motion
The wider hand placement requires a greater range of motion, which can help improve flexibility and joint mobility.
Challenges Shoulder Stability
Wide Grip Pushups engage the shoulder muscles to a significant degree, making it a great exercise for improving shoulder stability and strength.
Less Tricep Activation
Compared to Regular Pushups, Wide Grip Pushups engage the triceps less. Other pushup variations may be more effective if you specifically target the triceps.
Greater Risk of Injury
Wide Grip Pushups require greater activation of the shoulder muscles, which can increase the risk of injury if not performed with proper form and control.
Safety Considerations for Wide Grip Pushups
As with any exercise, it’s important to perform Wide Grip Pushups with proper form and technique to avoid injury. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind when performing Wide Grip Pushups:
Start With the Proper Form
Begin with your hands placed wider than shoulder-width apart and your elbows tucked close to your sides. Keep your body straight from head to toe throughout the movement.
Avoid overextending your shoulders or hyperextending your lower back during the movement, as this can increase the risk of injury.
Gradually Increase Intensity
Start with a manageable number of reps and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness level improves.
Consult a Professional
If you’re new to exercise or have any pre-existing medical conditions, it’s a good idea to consult a professional before adding Wide Grip Pushups to your routine.
Wide Grip Pushups are highly effective for building chest strength and size and improving shoulder stability.
They engage multiple muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, and triceps, and require a greater range of motion than Regular Pushups.
However, they also come with some disadvantages, such as a greater risk of injury if performed with improper form or control.
By including Wide Grip Pushups into your workout routine, you can achieve a well-rounded upper body workout targeting all major muscle groups.
Remember to start with proper form and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness level improves to avoid injury and achieve optimal results.
While it is possible to do wide-grip push-ups on your knees, it may be less effective for muscle growth. Using knee support limits your range of motion, resulting in a workout that targets more minor muscles.
Additionally, doing push-ups on your knees shifts more weight onto your arms than your chest, which could be better.
Yes, regular push-ups are a great alternative to wide-grip push-ups, especially if you’re new to working out or have difficulty with the wide-grip variation.
You can modify regular push-ups on your knees, against a wall or desk, or with an incline to make them easier.