How to Do Push-Up: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Push-up exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Push-Ups

Muscles worked in push-ups

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Push-Ups

  1. Assume the starting position, with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Try to form a straight line from head to feet, and brace your abdomen slightly.
  3. Lower yourself as deep as you can, while inhaling.
  4. Reverse the motion when you’ve touched the floor, and push yourself up to straight arms again while exhaling.
  5. Repeat for reps.


The push-up is a classic bodyweight exercise for the upper body, with the benefit that you don’t need any equipment to perform it. In push-ups, you lift about 70% of your own body weight, but you can increase or decrease that amount by placing your feet or hands, respectively, on an elevation. In kneeling push-ups, you lift about 55% of your body weight.

You can also vary the exercise by placing your hands closer or wider apart, which will transfer more of the load to the triceps or chest, respectively.

A hidden bonus with push-ups is that you also get some static training of your core, similar to that of the plank exercise. To get even more core training, you can do your push-ups with either your hands or feet in a pair of suspended gymnastic rings or similar.

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Text and graphics from the StrengthLog app.