Wide Grip Push Ups: How To Do, Muscle Worked & Benefits

The wide push up is a bodyweight exercise. Wide grip push-ups provide all the benefits of a normal push-up, with a special focus on shoulder and outer chest.

There are several benefits that can be gained by adding the wide hand push-up to an individual’s workout routine.

This includes an increase in shoulder and chest activity, improvement in core strength and stability, and enhancement of arm strength.

You can strengthen and increase the thickness of your chest by including this wide grip chest push up into your training regime.

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 take a closer look at the benefits of wide pushups, how to do them, and variations you can try.

What Is A Wide Push-Up?

Wide grip push-ups, also known as wide push-ups, are a variation of the traditional push-up exercise.

In a wide push-up, the hands are positioned wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor.

This wider grip targets the muscles in the chest, arms, and shoulders to a greater extent than traditional push-ups, which are performed with the hands positioned shoulder-width apart.

Wide push-ups also require more stability in the shoulders and core, making them a great exercise for improving overall stability and balance.

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 to be the pectoralis (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 in general, engage the core, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps femoris and calf muscles as well.
Muscle Worked During Wide Push Ups

Here’s how these muscles are engaged during the wide push-up:

  1. Chest: Chest muscles, are the primary muscle group worked during wide push-ups. These muscles are responsible for moving the arms and shoulders and are essential for upper body strength and power.
  2. Triceps: The triceps, or muscles on the back of the upper arm, are also heavily engaged during wide push-ups.
  3. Shoulders: The shoulders, or deltoids, are another muscle group worked during wide push-ups. The wide grip position activates the front and middle deltoids to a greater extent than traditional push-ups.
  4. Upper back: The muscles in the upper back, including the rhomboids and trapezius, are also engaged during wide push-ups to maintain proper posture and stability.
  5. Core: The core muscles, including the abs and obliques, are also engaged during wide push-ups to provide stability and support for the body.

Wide Push Up Vs Standard Push Up (Regular Push Up)

It is a question on all of our minds. What is the difference between a regular push-up and a wide push-up?

In a regular push-up, you have your hands fairly far apart, and they rest just outside your shoulders. During Standard Push up, there is greater activation of the pectoralis muscles than the triceps brachii.

Wide hand push-ups target your outer chest and shoulder muscles more than standard push-ups because you have to place your hands further apart.

The increase in shoulder triceps activity in this workout is due to the wider position of the hands, which places a heavier load on the shoulder. This is evidenced by a study which found that there is greater electrical activity in the deltoid when doing wide push-ups as compared to when executing regular push-ups.

Benefits Of The Wide Push-Up

Although the wide push-up is a bodyweight exercise and thus does not use any equipment, it still carries with it several benefits.

  • Increased muscle activation: Wide push-ups engage more of the muscles in the chest, arms, and shoulders, leading to increased muscle activation and growth.
  • Improves Core Strength and Stability: To maintain balance, the exercise recruits the core muscles, specifically those that function in trunk rotation, such as the external and internal obliques. Recruitment of core muscles for maintaining balance leads to an improvement in both strength and stability.
  • Burn Calories: Doing wide push-ups can be a powerful full-body workout and help to burn more calories. They use up a large amount of energy in a short period because the movements require large muscle groups to lift and hold much of the body’s weight.
  • Improve overall health: Regular practice of the push-up, then, can improve overall health, since muscle strength helps to improve bone strength, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and enable everyday mobility.
  • Better posture: The wide push-up position promotes good posture by engaging the muscles in the upper back and shoulders, helping to prevent slouching and round shoulders.
  • Increased range of motion: The wider grip allows for a greater range of motion in the shoulders, leading to increased flexibility and mobility.
  • Variety in your workout routine: Adding wide push-ups to your routine can help prevent boredom and keep your workouts interesting by providing a new and challenging variation on the traditional push-up.

Wide Push Up Exercise Guide

Wide pushups are a simple yet effective way to build your upper body and core strength. If you’ve mastered regular pushups and want to target your muscles a little differently, wide pushups are a good option.

Wide push up will stretch the chest and mainly target the outer chest. This is because the range of motion isn’t that great, and you can’t bring your arms together.

Wide Push Ups

How To Do Wide Push Ups

If you’ve mastered regular pushups and want to target your muscles a little differently, wide pushups are a good option.

To perform a wide push-up, follow these steps:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands positioned wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor.
  2. Your feet should be hip-width apart, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  3. Lower your body towards the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body and making sure not to let your hips sag or your back arch.
  4. As you lower your body, keep your core tight and your body straight.
  5. When your chest is just above the floor, push through your hands to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of reps.

It’s important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise to get the most benefit and prevent injury.

If you’re having trouble with wide push-ups, you can try placing your hands on an elevated surface such as a bench or step, or performing the exercise on your knees instead of your toes.

As you get stronger, you can gradually decrease the height of the surface or move back to the toes to make the exercise more challenging.

Wide Push Up Variation And Modification

You can adjust the pushup according to your fitness level, preferences, and goals. You can enjoy the benefits of wide pushups in different ways by doing the following variations.

Make It Easier

The difficulty of the wide pushup can be changed by changing hand position. If you want to make wide pushups easier, place your hands on a wall or more inclined surface or do wide grip knee push up.

Make It Harder

When you are able to do 15-20 basic wide pushups in a row, or you would like to increase the intensity of pushups, you may want to try doing wide grip decline pushups or try doing 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. This can work one side of your chest at a time.

1. Incline Wide Grip Push Up

The incline wide push-up is a simple type of push-ups 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 lower and outer chest.

Wide Grip Incline Push Up

How To Do Wide Hand Wall Push-Ups

  1. Stand approximately 2 to 2.5 feet away from the wall with your arms held at shoulder height in front of you.
  2. Place your hands against the wall with your body straight and your legs a few feet behind, so that your body draws a triangle together with the wall and the floor.
  3. Keeping your feet firmly fixed to the ground, lean your body forward so that your elbows flex and your chest comes within inches of the wall.
  4. Using your hands, push your body back into a standing position.

2. Wide Grip Knee Push-Up

The Wide hand knee push-up, also known as a modified type push-up, is a bodyweight exercise that works for muscle groups throughout your upper body.

The wide push-up on 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.

Wide Grip Knee Push Ups

How To Do Wide Grip Knee Push-Ups

  1. Kneel on the floor. Place hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor.
  2. Lower yourself by flexing your elbows so that your chest comes within a few inches of the floor, making sure your body is in a straight line from your head to your knees.
  3. Raise your body to the starting position by pushing up with your arms.
  4. Repeat the desired number of repetitions.

3. Wide Grip Decline Push Up

The wide grip decline push-up is an advanced variation of the wide push-up, but with your feet on a bench. 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, the resistance your body provides is increased compared to doing the push-up on the floor. This makes the wide hand decline push-up harder than the standard push-up.

4. 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.

5. Plyometric wide push-ups

To add an extra element of power and explosiveness, try plyometric wide push-ups. 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.

Wide Push-Up Proper Form And Tips

Proper form and technique must be observed when doing any type of exercise to avoid risk of injury. The following mistakes should be avoided to maximize the benefits of doing wide grip push-ups.

  • It is important not to allow the hands to go too far forward. When the hands are positioned superiorly than the shoulders, it may cause excessive stress on other muscles and joints.
  • For the wide push-ups, begin by performing 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 at around 45 degrees.
  • It is important to keep the body in a straight line throughout the activity. 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 places more load on the elbows than a conventional push-up does. To avoid getting hurt, it is important to learn how to do a regular push-up and, over the course of a few weeks, slowly increase the hand position.
  • Squeeze your glutes and engage your core before moving into the push-up
  • To see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program.

How To Add A Wide Push-Up To Your Workout Routines?

Here are a few ideas for incorporating wide push-ups into your workout routine:

  1. Beginner full-body routine: For a beginner-friendly full-body routine, try 3 sets of 10-15 wide push-ups followed by 3 sets of 8–12 squats, lunges, or another lower body exercise of your choice.
  2. Upper body circuit: For a more focused upper body workout, try incorporating wide push-ups into a circuit with other upper body exercises such as narrow push-ups, tricep dips, and shoulder press.
  3. Core and upper body combo: For a workout that targets both the upper body and core, try alternating between wide push-ups and plank variations such as side planks or mountain climbers.
  4. High-intensity interval training: To add some intensity to your workout, try incorporating wide push-ups into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit. You can mix and match with other exercises such as burpees, jump squats, and mountain climbers.

Aim to do wide pushups 3 to 4 times per week, giving your muscles at least 1 full day of rest between sessions to help them recover.

Proper form is more important than the number of pushups you do. It’s better to do fewer repetitions with good form than more repetitions with poor form.

For a more well-rounded physique, you might consider using various push ups.

  • Standard push ups are best for chest, shoulder and tricep.
  • 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.
  • Close grip push-ups focus more on tricep than chest.
  • Pike Push-ups focus more on shoulder than chest and tricep.

Wide Hand Push Up Alternatives

If you’re looking for an alternative exercise to wide push-ups, there are several options you can try. Here are a few ideas:

  • Archer Push-Up
  • Clapping Push Ups
  • One Arm Push-Up
  • Spiderman Push-Up


In conclusion, wide push-ups are a fantastic exercise for building upper body strength and improving stability and balance.

With a wider grip than traditional push-ups, wide push-ups target the muscles in the chest, arms, and shoulders to a greater extent, leading to increased muscle activation and growth.

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, and they can be incorporated into a variety of workouts and routines.

Give wide push-ups a try and see the impressive results for yourself!

People Also Ask

What push up works outer chest?

The wide grip push up places more emphasis on the outer chest. Everyone should know how to do the Wide push-up 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 one of the best and most challenging upper-body workouts for the muscles in your outer 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. The discomfort you may feel should not be interpreted as suggesting that wide grip pushups are unsafe. If done correctly, wide-grip push-ups can actually be beneficial. Just like lifting heavy objects can be good for you when you do it properly.

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 body weight 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.

As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the intensity and difficulty of your workouts to continue challenging yourself.

Do Wide Pushups Work Chest More?

Wide push-ups can target the chest muscles to a greater extent than traditional push-ups.

By positioning the hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor, wide push-ups engage more of the chest muscles, leading to increased muscle activation and growth.

Can you do regular push-ups instead of wide grip push-ups?

Yes, that’s why we recommend that you modify the way you usually do it because it could injure you if done incorrectly. Push-ups are great because you can always make them easier by doing them on your knees or against a wall or desk.

7 Best Push Up For Beginners To Build Stronger Upper Body


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