8 Amazing Incline Pushup Alternatives That Targets Same Muscles

Published by Roshan S Pillai on

Incline push up alternatives

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You might know how good pushups are in building upper body strength. When it comes to pushups, incline pushups are a little easier than a regular push and it targets the lower part of the chest. But some might find it difficult to do but here is good news for you!

In this article, you will find some amazing exercises which are alternatives to incline pushup that will give you almost the same benefits which you can receive with incline pushups. You will find some exercises difficult which will be great for those who want to try something different apart from the incline pushup. But before knowing the exercises, it’s important to know which muscles are used during incline pushups.

Muscles Worked During Incline Pushups

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Incline pushup is a compound movement that is good for your upper body strength. During an incline push-up, the lower chest, triceps, and abs are the major muscles that are used. That’s why it is known as a great exercise to build the lower chest.

So if we want to pick an alternative, then that exercise should target these muscles to make it an effective alternative.

Alternatives to Incline Pushups

Some best alternatives to incline pushups are wall pushups, kneeling incline pushups, and decline bench press. Let’s discuss each of them in detail along with some other alternatives.

1. Wall Push Up

If you find incline pushups difficult, this is a great alternative exercise. Generally, beginners find difficulty with incline pushups and wall push-up is an easier alternative for them.

Targeted Muscles- mid and lower pecs, abs, triceps

How to do

1. Stand in front of the wall and place both hands at about shoulder-width apart on the wall.

2. Keep your arms straight and head neutral. Your feet should be together and adjust your hands such that your wrist is in line with the mid-chest. This wil be your starting position.

3. Start the exercise by bringing the chest close to the wall while keeping your body straight. Don’t drop your hips forward and keep your abs engaged.

4. Pause at the bottom when your chest is close to the wall and then push them all from your arms to return to the starting position.

Always remember to breathe in as you move down and breathe out on the way up. Make sure that the floor is not slippery otherwise you might slip and get hurt.

If this exercise becomes easy for you, then make progression by trying incline pushups from the high angle and then slowly progress to the lower angle incline pushups.

2. Kneeling Incline Push-Ups

This is another alternative to regular incline pushups. This is also good for beginners as you are on your knees which creates less tension on the core muscles making it easier to perform.

Targeted Muscles – lower chest, triceps

How to do

1. Kneel on a mat and place your hands on the box or a bench while keeping both hands at about shoulder-width apart.

2. Adjust your body such that your arms are in line with the lower chest. Keep both feet up and this will be your starting position.

3. Start by moving your chest down while keeping your back straight. Keep your abs tight and elbows at a 45° angle.

4. Pause at the bottom position when your lower chest is almost touching the edge of the box.

5. Push your body up and return to the starting position.

3. TRX Push-Ups

This exercise is another great alternative you can use in place of incline pushups. This exercise also requires a lot of stability, which increases the core and torso activation. It’s also a great exercise for athletes.

Targeted muscles– pectoralis major and minor ( lower chest)

How to do

1. Attach a TRX suspension at the top of the cable machine or anywhere in the top where you can fix it.

2. Grab each end of the bands and stand forward with your body leaning forward and keeping your arms straight forward.

3. Keep your hands slightly down the lower chest and slowly bring your body down. Keep your legs straight and maintain the balance.

4. Pause at the bottom when your wrist comes slightly above your lower chest. Slowly blush back to the starting position.

Your shoulders should be pinched back before performing the exercise. Always keep your chest forward and squeeze your lats as you go down.

4. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Another great multi-joint exercise for your chest. This will give you a thick and strong lower chest. Do this as an alternative to incline pushups. You can also replace decline barbell press with this.

Targeted muscles– Pectoralis major and minor ( lower chest)

How to do

1. Grab two dumbbells and lay on a decline bench. Keep your feet under the pads of the bench for support. Use a spotter to help you lift the dumbbells safely.

2. Keep your hands straight up. The dumbbells should be in line with the lower chest and don’t overextend your lower back.

3. Now start moving the dumbbells down. Your elbow should be at about a 60° angle from the shoulder.

4. Pause at the bottom when your dumbbells are at the side of the lower chest. Don’t take it too down. Keep the dumbbells slightly above your chest.

5. Now push the weights and bring it back to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Have a spotter behind you for safety purposes, but don’t completely reply to the spotter. Always use support during the last 1 or two reps. Also remember to keep your shoulders back and chest up before moving the weights.

5. Dips

This is a great bodyweight strength exercise for your chest. Many people perform this exercise to build the size and thickness of their chest. Dips are a little harder than incline pushups but it’s one of the powerful exercises to build the strength of your upper body.

You don’t have to do incline pushups if you are doing dips during your cheat as both are used to target the lower chest.

Targeted Muscles- lower chest, tricep,s and abs

How to do

1. Place both hands on the bar while holding it tight and then lift your body balancing it in the air.

2. Now start lowering your body by slightly keeping your elbows out and reach at the bottom position where your elbows are at a 90° angle.

3. From there, start pushing the body up by squeezing your chest muscles and extend your elbows at the top.

If you are a beginner, then you can do some other alternative exercises for dips as there are many other options available to you.

6. Cable Crossovers

This will help you to give that proper shape to your lower chest. You can do this after heavy compound exercises and pressing movements. Here, you can bring your arms at the midline of the body which is not possible with push-ups. Also, you can stretch your chest to its maximum which completely isolates your pecs.

Targeted Muscles – lower chest

How to do

1. Attach both pulleys on top of the cable tower. Hold the cables and stand in between the machine with one leg forward.

2. Roll your shoulders back and lift your chest. Don’t bend too much and maintain the upright position.

3. While maintaining this position, move your arms forward and take them across each other. Both hands should look like a cross. This will engage your chest more.

4. Return to the starting position slow and steadily and then repeat the movement.

You should aim for more reps in these fly exercises as it is mainly done for shaping the muscle rather than using it to build strength. So aim for at least 12-15 reps on this exercise.

7. Stability Ball Push-ups

This is an advanced exercise for your chest. You will require great balance and stability while doing the exercise. If you are bored with incline push-ups, then try this advanced version.

Targeted muscles– lower chest, triceps, and abs

How to do

1. Place your hands on a stability ball and slowly bring your feet back and keep it straight.. Hands should as further as the ball allows.

2. Your chest should be in line with your hands. It should not be away from the ball.

3. With your core and hips tight, start bringing your body down until your chest almost touches the ball.

4. Push back to the starting position and repeat the movement.

This exercise is an advanced exercise so beginners or intermediates should stick with the regular push-ups. Once you master the pushup, then slowly and gradually add this to your workout program.

8. Decline Bench Press

This is probably one of the best exercises to build the strength of your lower chest. This exercise also puts your shoulders in a better position which may prevent you from any shoulder injuries.

Targeted muscles– Pectoralis major and minor ( lower chest) and triceps brachii

How to do

1. Lay down on a decline bench with your feet supported at the high end of the bench.

2. Grab the barbell with both hands slightly wider than the shoulder width. Have a spotter behind you to lift the weights for you.

3. Lift the barbell up and hold it at the top. The barbell should be in line with your upper chest. This will be your starting position.

4. Bring the barbell down towards the lower part of your chest. Breath in as you go down. Your elbow should be at about 45° angle.

5. Pause at the bottom and then push the weights up back to the starting position. Breath out on the way up.

Keep in mind that your hips should not come up during the movement. Also, remember to have a spotter behind you till the end of the workout. You can go heavy on this, but your form should not go wrong.

Final Words

So these were some of the best alternatives to incline pushups. Some exercises at the beginning were easy which are for those who are beginners. Then, in the end, some exercises were difficult which is good for those who find incline pushups easy and want to enhance their workout by adding some challenging exercises.

You can replace incline pushups with these above exercises but make sure that you design your workout program according to your fitness level and goals.

If you found this blog helpful, then do share it with your friends and on social media so that more people can get the information. Also, if you know of any other alternative exercises, you can share them in the comment section below.


Roshan S Pillai

Roshan Pillai is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with more than 6 years of experience in lifting weights and guiding people to get fit. He is the owner and editor of fitnessproworkout.com, and has worked as a fitness coach in gyms and is passionate about fitness and helping people to get in shape.

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