Best Push Ups For Upper Chest To Build Size and Strength

If you are looking for push-ups that work the upper chest, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll talk about the best push-up for training the upper pec.

To strengthen and increase the thickness of your upper chest, you should include this upper chest push up into your training regimen. Having a strong chest makes your upper body look bigger and also has some practical advantages.

When we talk about chest muscles, it’s important to note that there are two main sections, upper and lower pecs. To achieve the greatest muscle thickness and strength, you should develop the muscle from all angles.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to build your upper chest with push-ups.

How To Build Upper Chest With Push Ups

Specific workouts, like upper chest push-ups, work on specific muscles and make you look better. You need to focus on exercises that will create a defined muscle in the clavicular head of the chest, in order to build the upper portion of the chest. 

Many people choose to build muscle with push ups because they have many benefits. When it comes to resistance, your body reacts to any kind of resistance, whether you are using weights, a bottle of water, or your own body.

Choosing the right exercises, with the right intensity, allows you to eliminate the need for weights from your upper chest workout routine.

Upper Chest Push-Ups Workout

Here are the best upper chest pushes that require no equipment, or just a slight modification to target your lower pecs. With so many variations of push-ups available, one type will help you develop the upper portion of your chest better than others.

1. Decline Push-Up

The Decline Push-up is a great exercise to start with if you want to train your upper chest with push ups at home.

It is similar to normal push-ups, but with your legs on a bench. Although this is called the Decline push-up, it focuses more on the upper pecs.

Furthermore, your lower body is raised from the floor, the resistance your body provides is increased compared to doing the push-up on the floor. This makes the decline push-up harder than the standard push-up.

Decline Push-Ups

How To Do Decline Push-Up

  1. Placed your hands firmly on the floor and spaced slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Put legs on the bench or the pad roller.
  3. Now raise yourself off the ground, straightening your elbows and your arms. Keep your elbows close to your body.
  4. Raise until your elbows are almost near to locked, and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.
  5. Now lower your body under slow sustained motion, feeling the motion all the way down until your chest is very close to the ground.

Training Tips

  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Vary the position of the bench to hit different angles of the upper chest.

2. Feet On Stability Ball Push-Up

If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your upper chest workout, why not try push-up with your feet on a Swiss ball. The unstable surface of the stability ball forces the upper chest muscles to work harder.

It is a progression of the decline push-up that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps while engaging the core. The upper chest and shoulders are the main focus of the exercise

According to a 2020 study on shoulder muscle activity during various push-up variations, the triceps, and pectoralis major muscles showed the highest electromyography amplitude during push-ups on unstable surface, suspension push-ups, stability ball push-ups.

Feet on stability ball push-up

How To Do Stability Ball Push-Up

  1. Lie face-down on the ball with your arms supporting you in push-up position.
  2. Roll forward until your pelvis and thighs are off the ball, and position your feet on top of the ball.
  3. Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders. And your body should form a straight line from head to heals.
  4. Breathe in as you lower yourself by bending your arms until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Use your core muscles to stabilize yourself.
  5. Pause for one to two seconds at the bottom before breathing out and using your arms to push you up to the starting position.

Training Tips

  • You should keep your elbow tucked at your sides.
  • Keep your core tight and your back flat throughout the movement.
  • Your body should be in a straight line. Don’t let your hips rise or fall.

3. Pike Push Up

Pike Push-ups are a variation of the push-up that increases strength and stability in the shoulders, upper chest and triceps.

In the pike push-up, the hips are elevated above the shoulders, so the range of motion is increased for better access to the upper chest. You can grow the upper chest at home with bodyweight by doing this exercise.

The Pike Push-up is one of the greatest conditioning exercises for the outdoor athlete, it can be performed, regardless of where you are and, best of all, they are completely free—no expensive equipment or no annual gym fees required.

Pike Push Up

How To Do Pike Push Up

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out.
  2. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
  3. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground.
  4. Once your head is about to make contact with the ground, pause for a second.
  5. Then slowly push back until your arms are straight, and you’re in the inverted V position.

Training Tips

  • Go down until your chest lightly touches floor then push back up.
  • Start with a smaller range of motion, progressing over time.
  • For added difficulty, elevate your feet on a box or bench.

4. Elevated Pike Push-Up

Finally, if you’re looking for one more effective bodyweight upper chest home workout, try elevated pike push-up.

By elevating your feet on a box, you advance these holds because you are now stabilizing a heavier percentage of your bodyweight on your arms.

Each of the setups steps from above still applies. This step allows you to make greater strength gains while also eliminating the fear of falling over.

Elevated pike push-up

How To Do Elevated Pike Push-Up

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out. Elevate your feet to an appropriate height for your current strength.
  2. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
  3. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground. Once your head is about to make contact with the ground, pause for a second.
  4. Then slowly push back up until your arms are straight, and you’re in the inverted V position.

Training Tips

  • Be sure to have first mastered the pike press before trying the elevated pike press.
  • Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.
  • Keep your back neutral and knees straight throughout the exercise.

5. Archer Push-Up

An archer push-up is a variation of the push-up that helps to isolate and strengthen one side of the chest at a time. This variation is more challenging than the push-up, but it is also very effective for building strength and symmetry in the chest.

In Archer push up, arms are kept wider than the normal push-up position and as you lower your body.

You transfer the majority of your weight to one of your hands and incline towards that hand, while the other hand is kept straight. Simultaneously move your body to both sides. You have to maintain a tight, steady, and controlled body to perform archer push-ups.  This exercise should be added to your upper chest bodyweight workout.

Archer Push-Up
Archer Push-Up

How To Do Archer Push-Up

  1. Start in a standard push up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out.
  2. Maintain a strong core position and shift your upper body toward your right side.
  3. Pull your right chest toward your right hand as you bend your right elbow.
  4. As you lower toward the right side, allow your left arm to straighten.
  5. Your left arm should be fully extended, forming a straight line from your shoulder to your hand.
  6. Repeat for your desired number of repetitions, switch sides.

Training Tips

  • Don’t let your hips raise.
  • Make sure your body is in the straight line from head to the feet.

Benefits Of Upper Chest Bodyweight Workout

When it comes to training, the upper pecs push-ups exercises are a perfect choice because:

  • An upper chest push ups will improve muscular endurance in the upper body and strengthen both muscles and bones.
  • As you’ll be moving your full body around, these drills will improve your metabolism, get you to burn more fat and help you achieve that mean and lean look.
  • Push ups are also considered a compound exercise because they require multiple muscle groups to be worked simultaneously. One benefit of push-ups is that they can also enhance the cardiovascular system by making your heart work harder.
  • One of the lesser-known push up benefits for men is that they can increase testosterone
  • Push-ups require more balance that can lead to greater muscle fiber recruitment.
  • The movements you’ll learn are highly functional. You will gain strength and size, and you will become more powerful all around.
  • A bodyweight chest workout can be a good full-body workout and help you burn more calories.

Upper Chest Muscle (Anatomy)

To effectively train the upper chest, first we need to take a closer look at the chest anatomy and how to train it. The muscles of the chest consist:

  • Pectoralis major – Makes up the bulk of chest muscle. Divided into clavicular (upper) and sternal (lower) portions.
  • Pectoralis minor – Smaller, deeper muscle underneath pectoralis major. Helps shoulder movement.
  • Serratus anterior – Located along ribs under arms. Works with pecs for shoulder movements.

The pectoralis major is a large, fan-shaped muscle with a wide origin. It is generally divided into two parts:

  • The clavicular part is the smaller, upper portion, which originates from the first half of your clavicle. This is what we usually mean by upper chest.
  • The sternocostal part is the larger, lower part that mainly comes from your sternum (and to a small degree from your upper abdominal sheath and ribs) This is your middle and lower chest.
Upper Chest Muscle

Whenever you do a pushing movement, all the heads of the pectoralis major muscle are used. However, different movements may place greater emphasis on different heads.

For example, the decline push-up places more emphasis on the clavicular head, which is the upper head of the pectoralis major, while still working the other head. It’s because the decline push-up puts your body in a downward angle, which shortens your clavicular head and makes it work harder.

The incline bench press is an additional exercise that places greater emphasis on the clavicular head. The decline push-up is a bodyweight exercise, which means that you do not need any equipment to do it. This makes it a good choice for people who want to build their upper chest muscles at home.

People Also Ask

How the decline Push up works the upper chest?

The decline push up requires that you place your feet very high. When you are in a decline position, you are putting more weight on the clavicular (upper portion) head of the chest. This allows you to work the upper chest more intensely.

What Bodyweight Exercise Works the Upper Chest?

There are several excellent bodyweight exercises that target your upper chest. The decline push-ups and Pike Push Up are one of the best upper chest bodyweight workouts.

Incline Push ups Vs Decline Push Ups

Both variations work your chest, triceps, shoulders, and back muscles. However, because of the angle, the Incline Push Up works your lower chest and back more.

On the other hand, the decline push-up works the upper chest and front shoulders more than the regular or incline variation.

Do Push-Ups Build Upper Chest?

Decline Push-ups are an excellent bodyweight exercise for strengthening the upper chest, but decline push-ups on a stability ball take this routine to the next level.

How Do You Work Your Upper Chest Without Weights?

The decline push-up and the pike push-up are two of the best exercises for working the upper chest without weights.

Can You Build Your Chest With Bodyweight Exercises?

You can build chest muscles with bodyweight exercises, you don’t need an expensive barbell or bench to develop a strong chest. You can build a stronger chest at home without weights by doing push-ups.


It can be difficult to train parts of the body that are particularly stubborn, but with persistence, the right methods, and slight modifications to push-ups exercises, you might be able to make a positive change.

The push ups above will work the upper chest when a person performs them correctly. It is best to add these exercises to a full-body strength training routine to achieve a well-balanced physique.

To build a strong upper body, it’s important to train the chest as a whole unit and then focus on getting all 3 parts of the muscle working.

7 Best Upper Chest Push Ups That You Can Do Anywhere

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