What Are the Benefits of Incline Pushups?

Performing incline pushups with an unstable surface increases the muscle-building effect of the exercise.

Performing incline pushups with an unstable surface increases the muscle-building effect of the exercise.

Establishing a life as an adult can cause young people to lose focus on exercise. When that happens, incline pushups can help you get back into a workout routine. Requiring less muscle power than regular pushups, incline pushups get your started with a strength-training program to work your chest muscles, pectoralis major. Synergistic assistance during incline pushups is supplied by the clavicular head above your pectoralis major, deltoid muscles of your shoulders and triceps muscles of your upper arms. The weight of your body provides resistance for muscle building.

Incline Pushups

Incline pushups are performed with the same movements and muscles as those used for regular floor pushups. However, the main benefit of pushing off of a higher surface is the decreased effort compared to pushing off from a totally prone position. Balance yourself on your toes and hands, keeping your body straight. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on a stable surface and push yourself up to arm's length. Descend, allowing your elbows to bend outward, until your chest almost touches the push-off surface.

Progression

Test surfaces of different heights until you find the right surface for you. From kitchen-counter height to step-bench height, the height that makes it possible for you to do a pushup is the right height to begin your pushup workout routine. A female should be able to do 16 pushups at the age of 40, states Tara Parker-Pope, and a man of the same age should be able to do 27. Begin at the height that works for you. As you reap the benefits of this upper-body exercise and become stronger, use a lower push-off surface.

Strength-Building

Strength-training programs benefit the body by building muscle and bone density. Metabolism is increased with an increase in muscle mass, making it easier to manage weight. Incline pushups use your own body as weight, making it easier to include this exercise in your busy routine as no special equipment or location is needed to perform this exercise. Do strength-training exercises at least twice a week. Allow 24 to 48 hours between strength-training sessions.

Considerations

Consult your physician before you begin a new exercise program to determine the right amount and kind of exercise for you. Warm up your muscles before strength-training exercises, such as incline pushups, by doing arm circles or jumping jacks. After strength-training, do stretches. Do chest stretches by resting one hand against a wall and crossing your outside foot over the foot nearest the wall. Twist your body away from the wall, leading with your outside arm. Stretch your arm and shoulder muscles by raising one arm at a time behind your head and pulling against your elbow with the opposite hand.

 

About the Author

For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images