Everything you can perform
A standard pushup targets your pectorals (chest muscles), deltoids, and triceps.
But if you engage your heart and activate your glutes, this dynamic move can enhance more than simply your upper body.
You can even correct your technique to target your biceps. Here are three biceps-focused variants to try, alternate biceps-busting moves, and much more.
How to perform a pushup
To perform a standard pushup, get to a board position.
Place your palms on the ground. Ensure they’re piled directly underneath your shoulders. Maintain your neck neutral, back right, core tight, and feet together.
To go down, gently bend your elbows — they should flare out at a 45-degree angle — and then gradually lower your body to the floor. Make sure you keep a straight chest and neutral neck.
When your chest reaches the ground, push yourself back up to begin through your arms. Pay particular attention to your lower spine. You do not want it to sag toward the floor.
Proper form is key to raising strength and preventing injury.
Positioning your palms and elbows too far apart could result in shoulder pain. And if your lower back sags when you try to rise, it may cause pain.
If standard pushups are uncomfortable or painful, do not force it. Certain modifications can help relieve the pressure in your joints and permit you to safely build your strength.
You might find it useful to practice with your knees on the ground rather than being at a full-body plank. You could also try performing pushups off of an elevated surface, like a bench or step.
The best way to target your biceps
The biceps brachii muscle — understood only as of the biceps muscle (yes, it’s always plural!) — is the muscle on the front of the upper arm.
Its main function is to flex your forearm toward your upper arm. In addition, it aids in turning your hands up and down.
Although a standard pushup does not target the biceps muscle, changing the position of your hands can cause this muscle to play a bigger role in the movement.
1. Close-stance pushup
Moving your hands closer together allows you to target your biceps more straight.
To get moving:
- Get into the standard pushup position, ensuring your torso is rigid and your neck is impartial.
- Transfer your hands closer together, leaving just a few inches between them. The closer they are, the tougher this exercise is to perform, so adjust accordingly.
- Decrease your body into the floor, allowing your elbows to flare out at a 45-degree angle.
- Push back to start and repeat, doing as many repetitions as you can — or working until”collapse” — for three sets.
2. Inside pushup with reversed palms
Moving the alignment of your hands down your chest and reversing their position will produce more of an arm-curling movement. This is key to targeting the biceps.
This is an advanced move, so consider beginning on your knees rather than at a full-body plank.
To get moving:
- Start in the standard pushup position.
- Twist your palms so that your fingers are facing the wall behind you. Move your hands so they are aligned with your mid-back.
- Lower down, tucking your elbows in toward your own body as far as possible.
- Once your chest reaches near the floor, push up to begin. Again, complete 3 sets to failure.
3. One-armed pushup
Self-explanatory in its title, a one-armed pushup is performed with one arm tucked behind your back.
This is another advanced move, so consider dropping to your knees or performing on an elevated surface to get started.
To get moving:
- Start in the normal pushup position.
- Widen the space between your feet to create more stability, then pick one hand up off the floor and set it behind your back.
- Lower down till your chest nears the floor.
- Push back up to the beginning, finishing three sets to failure.
Things to consider
Do not hesitate if these exercises are difficult at the outset. Most are for advanced exercisers. Utilize modifications to reap the advantages.
Performing these moves at least once a week will help your biceps grow in size and intensity — particularly if done in combination with some of these biceps-focused exercises below!
Other biceps-focused exercises
You may offer your biceps a workout with lots of different exercises, also. Try:
Alternating dumbbell biceps curl. If you’re just starting out, stick to 10 pounds or less in every hand. Your torso should stay stationary and your elbows should stay close to your body as you finish the curl.
Barbell biceps curl. You ought to have the ability to lift a little more weight in the barbell form, so feel free to go a bit heavier. Ensure that your form is solid, though! You wish to stay slow and controlled during the movement.
Overhead cable curl. You’re going to need access to a cable system for this move, which you work over your head.
Chinup. Although pull-ups mainly work your spine, switching your grip to perform a chin-up will hit those biceps hard. If you have access to a fitness center, consider using an assisted pullup machine. You could even use a ring and pullup bar.
The bottom line
Pushups are a basic exercise, you should integrate into your exercise routine for operational power. Doing variations of these — to hit the biceps, for example — will liven up things and target unique muscles.