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What Muscles Do Push-Ups Work?
Push-ups are one of the most basic exercises that are beneficial to build a strong core and upper body using only your body and a flat surface. What muscles do push-ups work?
Push-ups are basic strength-building total body exercises that strengthen the upper body and improve the core strength. Several muscle groups in the chest, arms, shoulder, triceps, back, and neck work simultaneously during a push-up. Push-ups are performed in a prone position, which can help develop a good posture.
Military personnel and athletes do push-ups as part of exercise regimen that helps strengthen the upper back and shoulder while providing stability to the torso, and promote muscle endurance and overall fitness. It is considered the ultimate body-weight exercise because there are different kinds of push-ups you can do depending on your strength and stamina. Push-ups are easy to do and do not require any special exercise equipment, which is very convenient as it can be done without investing a lot of money in fancy gym equipment.
Push-ups help build a stronger core, and increases strength in the chest, arms, and forearms. Different types of push-ups target different muscle groups.
What Muscles Do Push-ups Work?
Various muscles in the upper body work together during a push-up. The main muscles targeted are:
- Pectoralis major
- Triceps brachii
- Serratus anterior
- Abdominal muscles
Pectoralis Major. These are the two large chest muscles primarily the pushing muscles of the upper body. It makes up most of the upper body. As you raise and lower your body during a push-up, the pectoralis major is doing most of the work to raise and lower your body.
Deltoids. These are the shoulder muscles helping the pectoralis major to push the body during a push-up. Although they are a weaker muscle group, they are crucial to all movements of the shoulder. The rounded shoulder look is due to a well-defined deltoid.
Triceps Brachii. Triceps are situated at the back of the upper arm and help in extending the arm outward. It makes up about two-thirds of the upper arm mass and is most exerted muscle during push-ups.
Serratus Anterior. The serratus anterior lies under the armpit at the back of the chest. The muscles give the scapula a winged look. These muscles are activated during a push-up and doing regular push-ups strengthens the serratus anterior muscle helping in smooth movements during exercises.
Coracobrachialis. The coracobrachialis runs from the shoulder blade to the upper arms. During a push-up, the coracobrachialis pushes the upper arm against the body, which is essential to perform a push-up. A well-developed coracobrachialis muscle is necessary for building upper body strength.
Abdominal Muscles. The core strength develops as the abdominal muscles are engaged in a push-up. As the body is held in a prone position, the abdominal muscles help the body brace itself.
Wide Grip Push-ups.This classis push-up is more difficult than the standard push-up as it provides less mechanical advantage to push your body upward. The wide grip push-up targets the chest, triceps, and muscles in the front of the shoulder. The shoulders and chest are worked up with the assistance of the triceps.