Health & Fitness

How inline push-ups can elevate your next chest day

Susy WulfFebruary 9, 20226 mins read

Push-ups are an essential move in boot camps and gym classes everywhere. The incline pushup is a great move to enhance this exercise.

An incline push up is a chest exercise that involves a push-up with your upper body elevated. To get started, all you need is an exercise box and another piece of equipment (like sturdy benches).

How to do an incline push up

Be sure to keep it steady before you push it beyond its limits. Even with your entire body weight, it shouldn’t slip around.

A rubber flooring exercise box is a great setup. A good setup is one that uses rubber flooring. However, a park bench bolted down can also work.

After you’ve got your setup in order, here’s what to do:

  1. Place your feet on the raised surface.
  2. Do not squat, but bend down.
  3. Place both bands on each side of the surface, fingers facing forward, and arms shoulder-width apart.
  4. Slowly, one leg at a stretch, step back until your legs are in a plank position. Your body should be straight: Keep your head and neck in line with the spine. To keep your body straight, look a few inches in front of the box instead of looking down at it.
  5. Slowly lower your chest towards the box by bending your arms.
  6. To form a straight line, again straighten your arms.
  7. Repeat this 10 times, for three sets. As you gain strength, work your way up.

Incline push-up benefits

Incline push-ups are a great alternative to regular pushups. They isolate your chest and give it a good workout. Although they work your arms, shoulders and chest as well, you should feel the burn on your chest. (Hello, burly pecs.

Inclines also place less strain on your wrists than regular push-ups. Inclines may be a good option if you have sensitive wrists or arms to weightlifting or regular push-ups. A personal trainer can provide personalized guidance if you are experiencing discomfort from certain moves.

Incline push-ups vs. decline push ups

The name implies that decline push-ups are the opposite of inclines. The same box or bench can be used, but you should place it under your feet.

Contrary to inclines which tend to isolate your chest, decline press-ups focus on your:

  • upper core muscles
  • Shoulders
  • Arms

Decline push-ups are better for working those abs than incline push ups. If you’re looking to bulk up your chest, tone your arms or relieve the stress on your shoulders, you might prefer to do inclines.


You can add more variety to your incline pushups because diversity is the spice in life.

It’s easier than you think: Do inline knee push-ups

Try doing incline knee pushups if you are new to this move or find it difficult to maintain your body straight.

Just place your knees on the floor and press down on the box. While you’ll still get a great chest workout, keep your spine straight and your core tight.

It’s harder: Push-ups on a narrow incline

You may need to increase your challenge if you are able to do more than 20 incline pushups per minute.

You can make your incline pushups more difficult by moving your elbows and your hands inward. This will narrow your support base.

Bonus: This will work your triceps.

Balance ball incline push ups to test your balance

To really test your balance, you can do incline pushups on a stability board. These push-ups will target your chest, shoulders, and help improve your stability.

Pro tip: You don’t need a ball to challenge your balance and strength by doing push-ups on an incline.

Alternatives to the Incline

Spider-Man push-up

Peter Parker, who? These advanced push-ups will work your chest, triceps and shoulders as well as your hip flexors and quads. You might soon be scaling high buildings.

Here’s how to make your spidey senses tingle:

  1. Keep your hands under your shoulders and start pushing up. Your bod should run straight from your heels to the top of your head.
  2. Keep your core tight, then lower your chest towards the ground and bend your elbows to 45 degrees.
  3. Lift your right foot, and then pivot your right knee upwards. Your elbow and right knee should almost touch. Your chest should be about one inch above the mat.
  4. Now, bring it back. As you extend your knee, you will return to a plank position. Your right foot should be brought back to the ground.
  5. Reverse it and you will be back at the starting position. Flip it over and reverse it. Now, bring your left knee towards your left elbow.
  6. Continue doing this for several sets of 8-10 reps.

Bench dip

Bench dips, also known as triceps dips, are another solid way to improve your arm game. These primarily work the triceps but they will also increase your chest, anterior and shoulder muscles.

To get started, you will need a stable, stationary surface such as a bench or workout box.

Now it’s time to dip, baby, dip:

  1. Place your hands on the benches and lean back.
  2. Keep your palms on the bench and move your legs outwards. Grab your booty from the bench and lift it up with arms extended.
  3. Keep your elbow bent and your body as low as possible. This will allow you to keep your arms at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Reverse your position by pushing up with your arms.
  5. Continue doing this for three sets of 10-12 reps.

Pro tip: Bend your knees, and then walk your feet closer to your body.

Low plank to high plank

Planks can be a great way to strengthen your core, triceps and deltoids.

You can also add some high-to-low movement to the mix to emphasize the lower chest, similar to the incline pushup.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Begin in a high plank position with your wrists aligned with your shoulders. Your body should be straight from your heels to your head.
  2. Engage your core and straighten your back. Then, drop into a forearm plank one at a time. For a few seconds, hold the position.
  3. Keep your back straight and push up to a high plank. Your core and back should be strong. Keep your spine straight.

If you’re looking for a new exercise, inline push-ups can be a great option. These can help relieve pressure on your wrists, elbows and upper body from regular push-ups.

You can mix up your strength training and add cardio to your exercise program for a complete workout.

Susy Wulf

Susy Wulf is a journalist, copywriter, editor and journalist. She has a BA degree in English from Monmouth University, and a MA in Global Communications (American University of Paris).


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