A standard pushup targets your pectorals (chest muscles), deltoids, and triceps.
But if you engage your core and activate your glutes, this dynamic move can enhance more than just your upper body.
You can even adjust your technique to target your biceps. Here are three biceps-focused variations to try, alternative biceps-busting moves, and more.
To perform a standard pushup, get into a plank position.
Place your palms on the floor. Ensure they’re stacked directly underneath your shoulders. Keep your neck neutral, back straight, core tight, and feet together.
To go down, gently bend your elbows — they should flare out at a 45-degree angle — and slowly lower your body to the floor. Make sure you maintain a straight torso and neutral neck.
When your chest reaches the floor, push yourself back up to start through your arms. Pay special attention to your lower back. You don’t want it to sag toward the floor.
Proper form is key to increasing strength and preventing injury.
Positioning your palms and elbows too far apart can result in shoulder pain. And if your lower back sags when you try to rise, it may cause back pain.
If standard pushups are painful or uncomfortable, don’t force it. Certain modifications can help relieve the pressure on your joints and allow you to safely build your strength.
You may find it helpful to practice with your knees on the ground instead of being in a full-body plank. You could also try performing pushups off of an elevated surface, like a bench or step.