The Right Way To Do Decline Pushups

Pushups have so many benefits, and the best part is you don't need to buy any expensive equipment or go to the gym. You can do them just about anywhere — and better yet, there are pushup variations, so you can do a pushup no matter your fitness level.

Decline pushups are for more advanced people who can easily do standard pushups. The decline pushups are more challenging but work the same muscles — chest, back, arms, shoulders, and core. However, you'll feel it more in your shoulders and upper chest. If your goal is to do some handstand pushups, decline pushup can help get you there.

You need one thing — a bench or chair to put your feet on that needs to be about a foot off the ground. Get into the standard pushup position and bring one foot up at a time on the bench or chair. Engage your core, quads, and glutes, and bend your elbows. Lower yourself until your forehead touches the floor. Push yourself back up into starting position. How many pushups you should need to do depends on your strength and ability. Start with as many as you can do while keeping good form and move your way up (via Healthline, Women's Health, Openfit, Maximum Potential Calisthenics, and Muscle & Strength)

Tips for decline pushups

As with any other exercise, stop if you feel any pain. Continuing through pain can lead to an injury. For the best results, arms need to be shoulder-width apart, hands on the floor below your shoulders, arms straight, and back straight — not arched or curved. Keep your head down so you're looking at the floor. There should be a straight line from your ankles to your head. Keep your body in this form throughout the pushup. Only your arms should be moving to bend so you can lower and raise yourself.

Using a mirror while you exercise can help you keep your form and avoid injury, or get a personal trainer or partner to help keep an eye on your form. Don't lock your elbows when returning to the starting position; keep them slightly bent. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.

If you can't regain your form during a decline pushup, you may need to return to the standard pushup and keep working at it. Or, if you can do three decline pushups before you lose your form, stick to three for a week or longer until you can work up the strength to do more.

If the decline pushup is easy for you, there are some variations you can try to make it harder. Use an exercise ball or stability ball, use one leg, or move your hands farther apart or closer together. You'll be doing handstand pushups in no time.