What Muscles Do Push Ups Work?

what muscles do push ups work

There are four major muscles involved in the push-up. They are the rectus abdominus, latissimus dorsi, and obliques. However, these are not the only muscles involved in the exercise. In addition to the abdominus, other abdominal muscles involved in the exercise include the pectoralis minor, the obliques, and the quadriceps. All of these muscles work together in symmetrical fashion in order to complete the push-up.

Anterior deltoids

Handstand push ups are a fantastic exercise for developing shoulder strength and the anterior deltoids. They also target the serratus anterior, the small muscle on the front of the shoulder. Performing handstand push ups is more difficult than standard push ups, so building up to them slowly is essential for shoulder safety and health. The standard push-up position requires straight arms, feet, and legs.

For the best results, the load used on the front delts must be heavier for low reps, but lighter for high reps. The weight should challenge the lifter to failure. Some good exercises for the front delts are front raises, overhead presses, and incline presses. The best exercises to target the front delts are 3 to 12 reps and heavy weight.

Rectus abdominus

Push ups require the use of the rectus abdominus muscles, which stretch from the front of the abdomen to the pubis of the hip. During a push-up, the rectus abdominus stabilizes the spine by flexing the rib cage forward and backward. The rectus abdominis is often a target muscle for military recruits because it helps to shape and tone the abdomen.

The rectus abdominis is a long flat band of muscle fibers that runs from the pubis to the fifth, sixth, and seventh rib cartilages. The muscle has a white line in the middle, called the linea alba, and is surrounded by broad, flat, and thin connective tissue called aponeurosis. It’s responsible for your posture, which includes sitting up straight and bending over to pick up something.

Pectoralis minor

How do push ups work? Push-ups work both the pectoralis major and minor muscles, but the former is smaller. The pectoralis major controls the descent of the torso toward the floor, while the minor raises the ribs and moves the scapula. The modified push-up emphasizes these muscles and increases the strength and range of motion of the shoulder joint.

Another exercise that focuses on pectoralis minor strength is the pull up. Pulling one’s arms behind the body while keeping elbows bent is a good stretch. Bend your elbows until your shoulders touch. Hold this position for several seconds before bringing your arms back to their starting position. Repeat as often as desired. Once you’ve mastered this exercise, try a variation on the basic push-up.

Latissimus dorsi

The latissimus dorsi muscle is a powerful, highly versatile muscle. It facilitates upper arm movements when the torso is fixed, maintains the scapula against the thorax, and supports the spine. Most lats exercises recruit the teres major, posterior deltoids, and long head of the triceps brachii. It collaborates with the pectoralis major and biceps to perform complex arm movements.

The region of the lats targeted during a push up exercise depends on the shoulder joint action. Shoulder adduction targets the upper lats best, while horizontal abduction works the middle lats. The shoulder joint action can be altered through the grip and body angle. For example, when a push up is done with the arms crossed, the lats are targeted through shoulder adduction.

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