If you’ve mastered regular pushups and want to try challenging push-up variations, wide pushups are a good option for you.
It provides all the benefits of a normal push-up, with a special focus on the shoulder and outer chest.
It has many benefits as well. That includes increased shoulder and chest muscle activations, improved core strength and stability, and enhanced arm strength.
Just make sure to maintain your form, go slowly, and listen to your body so you don’t hurt your shoulders.
In this article, We will look closer at the benefits of wide pushups, how to do them, and variations you can try.
- What Is A Wide Push-Up?
- Muscles Worked During Wide Grip Push Up
- How To Do Wide Push-Ups
- Wide Push Up Variation And Modification
- Make It Easier
- Make It Harder
- 1. Incline Wide Grip Push Up
- 2. Wide Grip Knee Push-Up
- 3. Wide Grip Decline Push Up
- 4. Plyometric Wide Push-Ups
- 5. Clapping Wide Push-ups
- Wide Push-Up Proper Form And Tips
- Benefits Of The Wide Push-Up
- How Do You Add A Wide Push-up To Your Workout Routines?
- People Also Ask
- What push-up works the outer chest?
- Are wide-grip push-ups good?
- Wide push-ups bad for shoulders
- Are Wide Push-Ups Easier Or Harder?
- Do Wide Pushups Work Chest More?
What Is A Wide Push-Up?
Wide grip push-ups, or wide push-ups, are an advanced version of the standard push up. It is a simple yet effective way to build your upper body and core strength.
In a wide push-up, the hands are positioned wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor. It requires more stability in the shoulders and core to perform them.
It targets your outer chest and shoulder muscles more than standard push-ups because you must place your hands further apart.
Muscles Worked During Wide Grip Push Up
Several muscles work together to execute the wide-hand push-up.
- The primary muscle worked during wide push-ups is the chest (Mainly Outer Chest)
- The secondary muscles include the muscles, deltoids (shoulders), Arms, and serratus anterior.
- Aside from the upper extremity muscles, Wide grip push-ups also engage the core, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles as well.
Here’s how these muscles are engaged during the wide push-up:
- Chest and tricep muscles, are responsible for pushing the body up and down.
- The wide grip position activates the front deltoids more than traditional push-ups.
- The Upper back muscles, including the rhomboids and trapezius, are also engaged to maintain proper posture and stability.
- The core muscles, including the abs and obliques, work to provide stability and support for the body.
How To Do Wide Push-Ups
To perform a wide push-up, follow these steps:
- Start in a plank position with your hands positioned wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Your feet should be hip-width apart, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Lower your body towards the floor.
- Keep your elbows close to your body and ensure not to let your hips sag or your back arch.
- As you lower your body, keep your core tight and your body straight.
- When your chest is just above the floor, push through your hands to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
- Do 8-12 reps and 3-4 sets.
Wide Push Up Variation And Modification
You can do wide pushups in different ways to get the same benefits. Adjust them according to your fitness level, preferences, and goals.
Make It Easier
If you have trouble doing wide push-ups, you can try placing your hands on a raised surface, like a bench or step, or doing the exercise on your knees instead of your toes.
Make It Harder
When you can do 15-20 basic wide pushups in a row, or you would like to increase the intensity of pushups.
- You can increase the reps and sets.
- You can try to do decline wide-grip pushups.
- Do them on a less stable surface, such as a stability ball.
- Place a weight plate on your back.
- Another option is to try staggered-hand pushups by placing one hand in the usual position, below your shoulder, and your opposite hand out wide.
1. Incline Wide Grip Push Up
The incline wide push-up is a simple type of push-up that dramatically reduces the pressure on the arms, upper back, and abs.
The closer you stand to the wall, the easier it is to perform, but remember, it’s still important to be aware of your body alignment as you perform this push-up.
It is a great exercise for beginners to target the outer and lower chest.
2. Wide Grip Knee Push-Up
The wide push-up on the knee is a brilliant exercise for beginners.
If you’re having trouble performing a wide push-up, practice an easier push-up variation, the knee push-up.
3. Wide Grip Decline Push Up
The wide grip decline push-up is an advanced variation of the wide push-up. Although this exercise is called the wide decline push-up, it focuses more on the upper pectoral muscles and the outer portion of the chest.
Furthermore, your lower body is raised from the floor, and your body’s resistance increases compared to doing the push-up on the floor.
This makes the wide-hand decline push-up harder than the standard push-up.
4. Plyometric Wide Push-Ups
Try plyometric wide push-ups to add an extra element of power and explosiveness.
As you push up from the floor, explosively push off with your hands and lift your body off the ground. Land softly and repeat the exercise.
5. Clapping Wide Push-ups
For an extra challenge, try adding a clap to your wide push-ups.
As you push up from the floor, explosively push off with your hands and clap them together before returning to the starting position.
Wide Push-Up Proper Form And Tips
Do them with Proper form and technique to avoid the risk of injury. The following mistakes should be avoided to maximize the benefits.
- It is important not to allow the hands to go too far forward. When the hands are superior to the shoulders, it may cause excessive stress on other muscles and joints.
- Perform 2–3 sets of 6–8 repetitions. Add more reps and sets as you build strength.
- Avoid letting the elbows flare out or point out to the side. The angle between the torso and the arm must be around 45 degrees.
- Keep the body in a straight line from head to toe. The hips should be level with the shoulders from start to finish.
- Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
- Wide push-ups place more load on the elbows than a conventional push-up does.
- Learning how to do a regular push-up and slowly increase the hand position over a few weeks is important to avoid getting hurt.
- Squeeze your glutes and engage your core before moving into the push-up
- Incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program to see continual progress and build body strength.
Benefits Of The Wide Push-Up
- Wide push-ups increase the muscle activation and growth of the chest, arms, and shoulders muscles.
- It Improves core strength and stability.
- It is a powerful full-body workout that helps burn more calories and lose weight.
- Promotes good posture and prevents slouching and round shoulders.
- It helps to improve muscle and bone strength and makes daily life easier.
- Increased range of motion.
- Increase flexibility and mobility.
- Adding wide push-ups to your routine can help prevent boredom and keep your workouts interesting.
How Do You Add A Wide Push-up To Your Workout Routines?
Here are a few ideas for incorporating wide push-ups into your workout routine:
- Beginner full-body bodyweight workout routine: Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 wide push-ups followed by three sets of 8–12 pull-ups, squats, lunges, or another lower-body exercise.
- Upper body circuit: incorporate them with other upper body exercises such as narrow push-ups, tricep dips, and shoulder presses.
- Core and upper body combo: Add it with plank variations such as side planks or mountain climbers.
- High-intensity interval training: You can mix and match with other exercises such as burpees and jump squats.
To get a bigger body, try different types of push-ups.
- Standard push-ups are best for the chest, shoulder, and tricep.
- Incline Push Up work your lower chest and back more.
- Decline push-up works the upper chest and front shoulders more than the regular or incline variation.
- Close-grip push-ups focus more on the tricep than the chest.
- Pike Push-ups focus more on the shoulder than the chest and tricep.
People Also Ask
What push-up works the outer chest?
The wide grip push-up places more emphasis on the outer chest. Everyone should know how to do wide push-ups properly to strengthen their outer chest, deltoid, and tricep muscles.
You can easily add it to your daily exercises or fitness routine because it requires no equipment and little space.
Are wide-grip push-ups good?
Wide pushups are among the best and most challenging upper-body workouts for the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and upper arms. This push-up variation can help build your core strength.
Wide push-ups bad for shoulders
No. Wide pushups are not bad for your shoulder when done correctly. Your discomfort should not be interpreted as suggesting that wide-grip pushups are unsafe.
If done correctly, wide-grip push-ups can actually be beneficial.
Are Wide Push-Ups Easier Or Harder?
It is difficult to say definitively whether wide push-ups are easier or harder than traditional push-ups.
Some people may find wide push-ups easier because the wider grip reduces the amount of bodyweight they need to lift, while others may find them more difficult due to the increased stability required in the shoulders and core.
It is important to listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable and manageable for you.
Do Wide Pushups Work Chest More?
Wide push-ups work the chest muscles more than regular push-ups.
When you put your hands wider than your shoulders, it works the chest and shoulder muscles more.
Wide push-ups are a fantastic exercise to build upper body strength. It targets the muscles in the chest, arms, and shoulders to a greater extent.
They also promote good posture and engage the core muscles for added stability.
Wide push-ups can be modified or varied to suit different fitness levels.
Give wide push-ups a try and see the impressive results for yourself.
- Dhahbi W, Chaabene H, Chaouachi A, Padulo J, Behm DG, Cochrane J, Burnett A, Chamari K. Kinetic analysis of push-up exercises: a systematic review with practical recommendations. Sports Biomech. 2022 Jan;21(1):1-40.
- Kim YS, Kim DY, Ha MS. Effect of the push-up exercise at different palmar width on muscle activities. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016 Feb;28(2):446-449. doi: 10.1589/jpts.28.446. Epub 2016 Feb 29.
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.