Decline push-up exercise

Decline push-up

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major
  • Synergists: Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Triceps Brachii
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii (Short Head Only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. With a bench behind you, get on your hands and knees.
  2. Position your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  3. Place your feet on the bench and straighten your body.


  1. Keeping your body straight, inhale as you lower your chest to the floor by flexing your elbows.
  2. Exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your body straight. Do not allow your belly to sag or your neck to extend as you near the floor.
  • Keep your elbows tucked into your body a little. This will reduce the pressure on your shoulder joints.
  • Instead of using a bench to elevate your feet, it’s best to use a stability ball for reasons explained on the stability ball decline push-up page.
  • Make the decline push-up exercise easier by resting your knees instead of your feet on the bench.
  • Make the exercise more difficult by getting a partner to hold a weight plate on your back. You could also wear a weighted vest or load with a chain.
  • See also the pike push-up, decline push-up against a wall, and the decline knee push-up.

Decline push-up video


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