What Muscles Do Push-Ups Build?

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Push-ups build muscles in the chest, shoulders and arms, but the style of push-up can influence the muscle of focus. Find out how to work out the triceps muscles by moving the hands closer together in a push-up with help from a strength and conditioning specialist in this free video on exercise and fitness tips.

Part of the Video Series: Exercise & Fitness Tips
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Video Transcript

So, just what muscles do push ups build? Well, push ups build muscles in your chest, your shoulders, and through your arms. They're really a great whole body, upper body exercise. It's important when you're doing push ups, there's two different kinds, so, what's important about them is you really decide which kind you're doing. If you have a closer grip, so your hands are shoulder width or narrower, you're probably going to have a triceps focus. Your triceps are the muscles in the back of your arms, so a tricep push up, I keep my elbows close into my sides, and I go through the range like that. If I'm doing a push up that's more focused on my chest, my grip will be shoulder width or wider apart, and my elbows just go out to the side a little bit more. And the emphasis on that exercise is a little bit more in my chest than in my triceps. Something to consider with push ups; have you ever seen someone that does a lot of push ups? They might just have posture that looks like this, and you don't want that. So, number one, just do push ups a few times a week. And number two, stretch out your chest muscles as well as make sure you're strengthening your upper back muscles, and that'll help to really balance out any tightening up that you're going to get through your chest and your shoulders as a result of doing a lot of push ups. For more information on training and push ups in general, you can reach me at brilliantathlete.com.

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