When push-ups are mentioned, the first thought that comes to mind is probably chest training. The truth is that push ups are a fantastic bodyweight exercise that works both the upper body and the core muscles.
Even though push ups are primarily a chest exercise, with a little modification they can become a very good exercise for your arms and shoulders.
Can you build bigger arms with push ups ?
The answer is – yes, you can. You can use push ups to build bigger arms at home. However, you need to do push-ups multiple times a week, use the right variations of the exercise, and work to failure at least once week.
Regular pushups do work your arms to a lesser degree, but push up variants such as the biceps push up or the diamond pushup work your biceps and triceps more than the regular variation.
Push Ups for Triceps
Although they target your triceps to a certain extent in their regular variation, the diamond push up is a specific variation that works mainly your triceps and front deltoids. Building a big triceps is essential for big arms as the triceps takes two thirds of the whole upper arm mass.
Diamond Push Ups
1. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Drop to your knees or support yourself on your toes. Bring your right hand in 3-5 inches toward your left hand. Bring your left hand in 3-5 inches toward your right hand to do inside pushups.
Now your hands should be about 2 inches apart. Diamond pushups will hit your triceps harder.
2. Straighten your spine and tuck your hips. Your torso should be parallel to the floor with your arms perpendicular to your shoulders. Squeeze your abs to stabilize your torso.
3. Rotate your elbows so that they are pointing toward your feet. Bend your arms and lower yourself toward the floor. Keep your elbows pointing backward so they brush your sides as you go down.
4. Press your arms straight again and raise your body up again. Do 20 to 40 push-ups, rest for a minute, and then do a second set.
Push ups with Biceps Emphasis
The truth is that the biceps gets involved in push ups to a small degree (compared to the triceps), only as a stabilizer muscle during the exercise. After all, the biceps is a pulling muscle. We can further increase the involvement of the biceps with a “biceps variation” of the exercise.
Biceps Push ups
1. Get in a regular push up position. Your legs should be straight and you should support yourself on your toes.
2. Point your hand fingers outwards to an angle of about 45 degrees.
3. Lower yourself while squeezing your biceps and come back up. Exhale on your way up.
Do these two exercises 2 to 3 times a week to build bigger arms.
Check out our post for more advanced versions of this traditional exercise – Upgrade Your Push Up Workout