Build Up Your Upper Body Strength With Push Ups

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Build Up Your Upper Body Strength

Push ups are a great bodyweight exercise to strengthen and shape your upper body.  Performed by raising and lowering the body using the arms, the benefits of push ups are a phenomenal part of Bikini Athletics.


What Muscles Do Push ups Work?

build up your upper body strength


There are two large muscles during a push up that are developing strength in the upper body. First, the pectoralis major is a thick, fan-shaped muscle, situated under the breast. Underneath the pectoralis major is the pectoralis minor, a thin, triangular muscle. Together, these muscles not only help you prepare for Bikini Season but also keeps you strong for everyday activities.


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.


Avoid jiggly chicken wing arms with strong triceps. The most exerted muscle during push ups, triceps are situated at the back of the upper arm and help in extending the arm outward.

Serratus Anterior

The serratus anterior lies under the armpit at the back of the chest. Doing regular push ups strengthens the serratus anterior muscle helping in smooth movements during exercises. Serratus anterior reminds us to use muscles that we cannot see, and to take a greater focus to connecting and feeling.


A well-developed coracobrachialis muscle is necessary for building upper body strength. The coracobrachialis runs from the shoulder blade to the upper arms. During a push-up, this muscle pushes the upper arm against the body, which is essential to perform a push-up.


Think of push ups as a higher value plank. Push ups not only build up your upper body strength, you are also strengthening your abs by holding them still while gravity forces your hips towards the ground.


To build up your upper body strength,  perform push-ups, follow the instructions below:

  • Kneel down and put your hands on the ground, making sure that they’re in line with your chest and about a shoulder width apart.
  • Straighten your legs out behind you, support your body on your hands and toes, tighten your core muscles and straighten your back.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body down toward the ground, stopping when your nose touches the ground.
  • Straighten your elbows and lift your body back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as you can manage within 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds and move onto the next exercise.


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