• You're all caught up!

What Do Pushups Work?

author image Judy Bruen
Judy Bruen is a private certified personal trainer and wellness coach. She holds dual master's degrees from Boston College in clinical social work and pastoral ministry. She currently works with individuals on fitness, health and lifestyle goals.
What Do Pushups Work?
Build muscular strength anywhere with pushups. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Once you know the benefits of pushups, it's hard not include them in your exercise routine. They require no equipment, can be done anywhere and build muscular strength in many areas of the body.

Tone Your Arms

Your biceps, located on the front of the arms, and the triceps, located on the back of the arms, both help lift your body during a pushup. A 2011 study, sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, determined that the triangle pushup is one of the most effective exercises for toning the triceps.

Strengthen Your Chest and Shoulders

Many people choose the pushup as a way to strengthen their pectoral, or chest, muscles. Pushups help build shoulder strength and stability.

Trim Your Midsection

Last but not least, pushups are an effective abdominal and lower-back exercise. A strong core makes it easier to perform other exercises and daily activities.

Try it Out

Kneel on all fours, positioning your hands under your shoulders. Widen your hands 1 inch, extend your feet behind you and lift onto your toes. Tighten your abdominal muscles and form a straight line between your shoulders, lower-back, hips, knees and ankles. Lower your body toward the floor while bending and flaring your elbows. Stop before your chest contacts the floor, push up through your arms and lift your body to the start position.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media