Incline Push Ups: Target Muscles and Benefits

Push ups are one of the most fundamental exercises for developing upper body strength.

But if you’re looking to add a new challenge and mix up your routine, incline push ups can be an effective way to target specific muscles in the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

Incline push ups provide several benefits, such as improved posture and increased stability, that regular pushups may not offer.

To get started with this exercise variation or find alternative options that work similar muscle groups, read on.

Incline Push Ups Muscles worked

Muscles Worked by Incline Push Ups

Incline push ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength and engaging multiple muscle groups.

This article will discuss the primary, secondary, and stabilizing muscles worked when performing incline push ups.

Primary Muscles:

The main muscles targeted during an incline push up are the pectoralis major (chest) and triceps brachii (back of arm).

These two muscle groups work together to provide power and stability while pushing your body away from the ground. Additionally, they help to keep your shoulders in a stable position throughout the movement.

Secondary Muscles:

Other muscles that benefit from incline push ups include the anterior deltoids (front of shoulder), serratus anterior (side of rib cage), latissimus dorsi (middle back), trapezius (upper back), and rhomboids (between shoulder blades).

All these muscles work together to stabilize your torso as you perform each rep.

Stabilizing Muscles:

In addition to targeting larger muscle groups, incline push ups also engage smaller stabilizing muscles such as biceps brachii, subscapularis, teres minor/major and infraspinatus/supraspinatus rotator cuff groupings.

Furthermore, core musculature like rectus abdominis/obliques is engaged, which helps maintain a proper posture during the exercise motion.

Overall, by incorporating this exercise into your workout routine you can target multiple areas of your upper body at once for increased strength gains in both size and endurance.

It is important to remember that proper form should be maintained at all times when performing any type of resistance training exercise in order to maximize results while minimizing the risk of injury or strain on joints or ligaments.

Benefits of Incline Push Ups

This move targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles while also engaging stabilizing muscles in the back and legs.

When done correctly, incline push ups can help you build muscle mass and improve your posture and balance.

Improved Strength and Endurance:

Incline push ups require more energy than regular flat-ground push ups because they involve lifting your bodyweight at an angle against gravity.

This means that when you do them regularly, you’ll be able to lift heavier weights for longer periods of time with less fatigue.

Additionally, by doing incline pushups on a regular basis you will be able to perform other exercises such as pull-ups or dips with greater ease due to increased upper body strength gained from this exercise.

Posture and Balance:

Incline pushups are beneficial for strengthening postural muscles in the neck and back regions of your body, as well as improving balance.

By engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, incline pushups can help you maintain proper alignment of your spine while also stabilizing both sides of the body to reduce the risk of injury during physical activity or sports performance-related tasks that require balance.

Furthermore, doing these types of exercises regularly will lead to increased upper body strength, making other exercises, such as pull-ups or dips, easier to perform with less fatigue.

Incline push ups are an effective and versatile exercise that can help improve strength, endurance, posture, balance, and core stability.

With various variations available to challenge yourself further, you can take your workout to the next level.

Exercise Variations for Incline Push Ups

To keep your workouts interesting and challenging, it is important to vary your exercises.

This article will discuss three variations of incline push ups that you can incorporate into your routine: decline push up variation, plyometric push up variation, and wide grip push up variation.

The Decline Push Up:

This variation is an effective way to increase the difficulty of the incline push up exercise.

To perform this variation, place your feet on a raised surface such as a bench or step while keeping your hands in their original position on the floor.

This increases the angle at which you are pushing against gravity making it more difficult than regular incline push ups.

The Plyometric:

This version of this exercise involves performing multiple reps quickly with explosive power from one rep to another.

Start by doing two sets of five regular incline push-ups then immediately move into two sets of five fast reps with explosive power between each rep for maximum effect.

The Wide Grip:

Finally, if you want to target different muscle groups within the chest area, then try out the wide grip version of this exercise by placing both hands wider than shoulder-width apart when performing them instead of having them close together like regular inclines do.

Doing so will help engage more muscle fibers in those areas resulting in greater gains over time compared to traditional versions of this movement pattern alone.

By incorporating incline push ups into your routine, you can target the chest and triceps muscles in a variety of ways.

However, there are alternative exercises that can also be used to strengthen these same muscles – let’s explore some of those options next.

Alternative Exercises for Incline Push Ups

If you are looking for an alternative exercise to incline push ups, there are several options available that work the same muscles as incline push ups.

Chest Press Machine or Dumbbells:

The chest press machine is a great option for those who want to target their upper body without having to do any complex movements.

With this exercise, you can adjust the weight of the machine depending on your strength level and also adjust the angle of the bench if needed.

Alternatively, using dumbbells allows you to move freely and use different angles when doing exercises like flies and presses which further targets your muscles in a more effective way.

Cable Flyes or Chest Presses:

Cable flyes involve standing between two cables with handles attached at each end while pressing them outwards from your body in a wide arc motion that works both sides of your chest equally.

Alternatively, chest presses involve lying down on a flat bench while holding two weights above your head before pushing them up towards the ceiling until they meet at full extension then lowering back down again slowly under control.

Both these exercises help build strength in your upper body.

Though it’s important not to overdo it as too much weight can cause injury if done incorrectly.

Always start light first before gradually increasing resistance over time once you have mastered the proper form technique.

FAQs about Incline Push Ups Muscles Worked

Will incline push ups build muscle?

Yes, incline push ups can be an effective way to build muscle.

The angle of the incline places greater emphasis on the chest and shoulders than a standard push up, making it an ideal exercise for targeting those muscles.

Additionally, by increasing the difficulty of the exercise with higher angles or added weight, you can further challenge your muscles and stimulate growth.

Incline push ups are an excellent tool for building strength and muscle mass when done correctly.

Are incline push ups more effective?

Yes, incline push ups are more effective than regular push ups.

They target the upper chest and shoulders more effectively by increasing the angle of resistance.

Incline push ups also engage stabilizing muscles in your core, helping to build strength and stability throughout your body.

Furthermore, they can be modified for any fitness level or goal by adjusting the height of the incline surface.

Do incline push ups work lower chest?

Yes, incline push ups can work the lower chest. By performing them at an angle that is slightly higher than flat ground, you are targeting different muscles in your chest and shoulders.

This variation of the traditional push up helps to engage more of the lower pectoral muscles while still working your triceps and core.

Incline push ups also help to increase strength and stability throughout your entire upper body.

Do decline push ups work upper or lower chest?

Decline push ups are an effective exercise for targeting the lower chest muscles.

They involve placing your feet on a raised surface, such as a bench or step, while performing the push up movement.

This increases the range of motion and places greater emphasis on the lower chest muscles than regular push ups do.

Additionally, decline push ups can help to improve stability and strength in other areas of your body due to their increased difficulty level compared to regular push ups.


They offer many benefits, such as increased chest, shoulder, and tricep strength.

Additionally, there are several variations of incline push ups that can be used to add difficulty or make it easier, depending on your fitness level.

Finally, if you’re unable to do incline push ups due to injury or lack of equipment, alternative exercises are available that work the same muscles as incline push ups.

With all these options in mind, anyone can find an effective way to incorporate incline push ups into their routine and reap the rewards of this powerful exercise.