How To Do Decline Push ups

In this article, you will learn how to do decline pushups, decline pushups benefits, tips and step wise instructions with video on how to do a decline pushup correctly. 

A decline pushup is among the best chest exercises — equaling even the much-loved bench press. Decline pushups help develop well-rounded chest, while targeting mainly your upper chest & fronts of shoulders much more aggressively than a standard push-up performed on flat level. 

You need to elevate your feet by placing them on a bench, step, or any other sturdy object. By just varying the bench height, you can customize the intensity of the pushups workout simply using your body weight.

The decline pushups are the advanced version of basic pushups. They are much more difficult because by elevating your feet you shift more weight onto your hands, requiring you to lift a greater amount of your body weight with every rep.

Decline Pushups Benefits

The decline push ups are a great upper body exercise. You can do them anywhere. What you require is just an elevated solid surface & sufficient floor space to lie down. This exercise builds the muscles of your chest, shoulders, back, and arms. 

Pectoralis Major: This exercise primarily targets pectoralis major. By varying height of the bench, you can shift the focus. A higher bench recruits clavicular head of the pec major, and not the sternal head of pectoralis major. On the other hand lower bench engages the sternal head of pec major, and focuses on the clavicular head of pec major as well. Other muscles that are involved actively while performing a decline push up are the anterior deltoid and the triceps brachii.

Multitasker: Pushup exercise strengthens core & improves posture. Not only it focuses on pushing muscles (chest, shoulders, & triceps), but it also works on your core. Moreover, in order to fire up your postural muscles, retract your head (as if making a double chin) when you are at the top position and pull your shoulder blades together, and you’ll strengthen your postural muscles, too.

Functional Fitness: Pushing yourself up from a surface is one of the first movements you pick up as a baby, and will continue to be among the ones that you will need to do till you breath your last. Decline push ups develop the stabilizer muscles around your shoulders, which helps improving your pushing capabilities that you need every day throughout life.

How To Do A Decline Pushup?

Select a bench or some other sturdy surface of the desired height. It can be as high as one to two feet or as low as 1 to 2 inch. Don’t choose very high, lest it compromises your form.

Start Position

Get onto your hands and knees. Your arms should be straight, hands on the floor at about shoulder width apart or a little wider. Carefully move your feet by extending your body, moving the feet up one at a time, and placing them on a bench or some other sturdy surface. Readjust your body position so that it forms a straight line from head to heels, without arching or sagging at your back or hips. This is your start position.


(i) Keep your core engaged & body straight. By bending your elbows, slowly lower your chest as close to the floor as possible, in a smooth controlled motion.

(ii) Remember to tilt your head slightly upward so as to achieve full range of motion and prevent bumping your forehead or nose on the ground.   

(iii) Now press your body up until your elbows are straight, but not locked – returning to the start position. This completes one rep. Do as many reps as you can do without compromising the decline pushup correct form. When you can’t complete another repetition in the correct form, stop.


(i) To maximize the benefits of decline pushups, pause briefly at the top contracted position and then start to lower yourself again for the next repetition.

(ii) Don’t place your hands too far forward, as this will put too much strain on your shoulders.

(iii) Don’t place your hands too wide, as this will reduce the range of motion.

(iv) Don’t allow your back to sag or arch. You should keep your core tightened and torso straight.

The video demonstrating how to do a decline push up, showing correct form & technique is given at the end of this article.

Decline Pushup Mistakes

Many people commit these common mistakes. 

(i) Sagging Or Arching Of Your Back: You should keep your core tightened and torso straight, otherwise your middle will sag and this can lead to back pain. Sagging or arching of the back means that you haven’t got enough core strength, and so you need to use the modified plank to build your core strength. 

(ii) Neck Alignment: Whereas you will need to look up slightly to achieve a full range of motion, but maintain this movement as small as possible. Correct form is to maintain your neck in neutral alignment in line with your spine as much as possible to avoid neck strain.

(iii) Locked Elbows: Locking of the elbows at top of the movement. This error places great stress on the joints and can result in to strain or injury. To prevent this you should maintain a slight bend in your elbows.

(iv) Hands Too Far Forward: Placing your hands farther out from your body can put too much strain on your shoulders. To avoid this you should place your hands under your shoulders.

(v) Limited Range Of Motion: Going down partially. This will not allow you to achieve full benefit of the pushups exercise. If you can’t achieve full range of motion, it’s better to perform an easier modified option like wall pushups, incline pushups or knee pushups that you can perform with the full range of motion.

Watch this video to learn Decline Push Ups correct form & perfect technique:


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