If you are struggling to do standard pushups then incline pushups for beginners is a great way to begin your pushup journey. Learn here proper form of doing incline push ups.
And you can do incline pushups anywhere. Only thing you need is a secured and steady surface like a wall, table or back of a sofa.
This exercise recruits the same major muscles (pectoralis) as in case of full pushups, yet puts far less strain on your elbows and considerably cut down the amount of body weight that you lift.
Benefits Of Incline Pushups
(i) Incline pushups are an ideal modified version in case doing the traditional pushup is too hard for you such as when getting down to and up from the floor is too difficult for you, or if you have pain or injury in the shoulder, wrist or hand.
(ii) Start doing this version and slowly you will gain stamina to progress from this simple method of “push away” from a nearly standing position against a wall and then advancing to a table, countertop, or sturdy back of a sofa, and in due cource to a low step or bench.
(iii) This simple modified pushup focus on the main chest muscles, the pectoralis major as well as minor. Besides exercising the chest, this movement exercises the shoulders (deltoid), arms (triceps) along with a number of muscles all through your abs, back, hips, and legs that work for supporting and preventing any sagging or arching of the spinal column throughout the workout.
Height Of The Incline
You can simply adjust height of the object you are pushing up from as you gain strength. You can make minor modifications and in due course you will progress to perform the standard pushup from the floor.
This is ideal for beginners or even for older adults who want to gain upper body strength to improve quality of life and live independent life in their old age.
You can begin with using a wall, and over time move closer to the floor until you are able to do standard pushups.
Start With Least Aggressive Pushup Version – Wall Pushups
This is relatively easies way to do incline pushup – using a wall to create an incline that is matching with your fitness level. Here’s how to do it in proper form:
(i) Start Position: Select a wall and stand facing it, with your feet a few feet away from the wall. Lean in a little bit and place your hands against the wall slightly wider than shoulder width. Placing your hands in a much wider position than this will cut down range of motion of the pushup movement reducing its overall effectiveness.
(ii) Movement: While slowly bending your elbows, deliberately move towards the wall as close as possible. Now slowly push away from the wall until your elbows are extended, but not locked. This completes one rep.
(iii) Keep going with slow, steady repetitions and do as many as you can up to 20 reps to gain stamina and strength.
Tip: Once this modified version becomes too easy for you, begin lowering the surface that you are using, as explained below.
How To Do Standard Incline Pushups?
The standard incline push-ups are performed using a flat bench, table, a railing (as shown in video below) or any other solid flat surface, which is approximately 3 feet high. Here’s how to do this version properly:
(i) Starting Position: Stand facing flat surface, like a bench, counter top, table, or even the edge of a bed. Place your hands on the edge of the flat surface, you are using, just a little bit wider than shoulder width. Realign your body and feet so that your arms and body are completely straight. Make sure that your arms are aligned perpendicular to your body. This is your starting position.
(ii) Movement: While keeping your body straight, execute the movement by slowly bending your elbows so as to lower your chest deliberately to the edge of the bench. All through the movement, keep your body straight and rigid. Return back to the start position by pushing your body off the bench until your elbows are straight, but not locked. This completes one rep.
(iii) Repeat slowly as many reps as you can up to 20 reps to gain stamina and strength.
Watch this video to learn how to do incline push ups correctly
Progressing To Pushup Full Version
When you can perform 15 or more reps in a row that means you have developed enough strength to lower the bench height, start basic floor level pushups.
For younger trainers who want to do more intensive pushups, they can try performing the full push-ups on a less stable surface like a stability ball pushup, or Bosu ball pushups. To do more advanced level pushups you can move on to decline pushups or do them with one leg lifted slightly off the floor to challenge your balance and strength.