How To Do & Muscles Worked


Push-ups are an upper body push exercise that specifically target the upper body and core muscles. Strengthening the chest muscles can be very helpful for functional tasks that involve pushing. Proper form is critical in order to target the correct muscles and avoid injury.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Push-ups

Primary Muscles

Chest Shoulders Biceps Triceps

Secondary Muscles

Abs Upper Back

Exercise Type

Bodyweight icon

How to do push-ups Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin in a high plank position on your hands and feet. Your palms should be flat on the ground about shoulder-width apart. You should be on your toes with the feet hip-distance apart. Your gaze should be down at the ground in order to keep the neck in a neutral position.

Draw your belly button toward your spine to engage the core muscles and maintain a straight line from head-to-toe.

Now lower your body toward the floor while keeping the neck and low back in a neutral position. The elbows will bend as the upper arms flare out to about a 45-degree angle away from the torso. Lower down until your chest touches the floor.

Then, press back up as you straighten your arms completely and return to the high plank position.

Repeat for the desired repetitions.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is not going low enough into the push-up. For men, you should be able to touch the floor with your chest. For women, you should be able to get within a few inches of doing so. Get down deep into that push-up in order to strengthen the chest through a large range of motion.


Animation of how to do Push-ups