Angular bodyweight exercise helps to transform your chest into pecs of iron. This exercise works efficiently to improve your lower back body posture. It turns your flabby arms into a man made of steel. That’s the power of angular bodyweight exercises.
Angular bodyweight exercises make use of the angles to target the upper body region and enhances its capabilities multifold time. One such angular bodyweight exercise is decline pushup. Decline push-ups target your chest muscles and improve it overall strength abilities.
This exercise is next to regular push-ups and is more intense in terms of difficulties involved. That’s the beauty of angles. As the position of your body changes with angles, things can become intense or easy accordingly. This exercise must be attempted when you feel regular push-ups are no longer challenging.
The movements involved in the decline push-ups are similar as compared to regular push-ups. The difference in decline push-ups is that the body is at an angled position. The feet are elevated using an elevated surface. As with its counterpart, the body must maintain a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
Decline push-ups work for the same muscles group as compared to regular push-ups, but they are unique in the way that they also work on your core simultaneously. Adding this exercise to your fitness routine is a good alternative to regular push-ups.
In this segment, we will discuss the technique involved in executing the correct decline push-ups, the muscle group this exercise works on, an add-on to make it more challenging, the breathing pattern involved and its comparison to other bodyweight exercises.
The technique to perfect the decline pushup form
The movement of the body is pretty similar to the regular push-ups. But the muscles that this exercise works on is slightly different from regular push-ups. Regular push-ups strengthen the middle part of your chest. Decline push-ups increase the efficiency of the upper part of the chest. This is the benefits of changing angles. Different angles involve different muscles group and work accordingly.
Following are the steps involved to master the art of decline push-ups.
1. Get on the floor face down, place your hand’s shoulder width apart. Hold your torso at arm’s length.
2. Now move your feet on the elevated surface. It can be a box or a bench. If at home, you can make use of a staircase to get the elevation.
3. Slowly push down until your chest is almost in contact with the floor.
4. Now push your upper body back into the initial position by squeezing your chest muscles.
5. Hold your position for a few seconds and repeat the steps for as many repetitions as possible.
Perform this exercise with your daily fitness routine to get the best overall development for your chest. It is a good variation to be involved in your push-ups repertoire. The higher your feet are elevated, the more weight you will have to press while pushing up. Your shoulders go through lot more stress as compared to regular push-ups.
Muscles involved in decline pushup
In decline push-ups, the pectoralis major is the main target of the exercise. Decline Pushup majorly works on the upper chest making it stronger. Though this prime target changes with the change in decline height. Clavicular head of the pectoralis major is engaged when the decline is from a higher position. A lower height focuses on the sternal head of the pectoralis major. It also engages the clavicular head as a synergist which provides assistance in the movement.
Decline pushups also engage the anterior deltoids more in comparison to the regular push-ups. Thus making decline push-up an effective exercise for shoulder strength.
Body Form and Breathing Pattern
A rigid torso is required for decline push-ups as well as regular push-ups. To attain this during the exercise, your abs must be in a contracted position. If your hip, hikes upward, the core will not be engaged, and the exercise will lose its effectiveness. Inhale as you go down almost touching your chest to the floor. Exhale when you push your body back up.
The declined height
Change the height of your decline based on your body adaptability. It is funny how a little modification in the body posture can turn things difficult or simple. The higher your feet are elevated, the more bodyweight you have to push. Thus making the exercise more challenging and difficult to perform.
The height of the declined can be easily modified depending upon the comfort level. You can make use of a bench or box to start. It is always good to start the decline push-ups with a low step and slowly increasing the height as you grow stronger. Also, only attempt this exercise if you can do 10 – 15 repetitions of regular push-ups in easily.
How much is good and required?
For beginners, who have just started with their fitness routine must start with regular push-ups. Once you’re comfortable with the regular push-up, then move on to the decline pushup on a lower elevated surface. Attempt 8 – 10 repetitions for 2 – 3 sets.
For intermediate, attempt decline push-ups on a little higher surface. Keep the number of reps and sets similar. If you can do this easily move on a much higher elevated surface.
For advanced level athletes, do this exercise on a really steep surface with the same number of reps and sets. This is will help your chest and shoulder activation immensely.
How to make decline push-ups more challenging?
There are not many ways that can make the decline push-ups more challenging, other than varying the height of decline. You can vary the height as per your needs. You can also make use of the weighted vest to increase the intensity of the exercise.
Another way of making decline pushup more challenging is by involving a stability ball or rings. If you keep your feet on a stability ball or inside rings that add a lot of instability in the movement and you’d have to engage a lot of core muscle to perform this variation. Other way is to lift one of the feet off the surface.
However, one disadvantage with decline push-ups is that the easier version of the knee position is not available. If you take the knee position for decline pushup, you lose the advantage of decline. Because you are not left with a decline position anymore. So doing it on a low step is the only easier version available to attempt.
Precautions While Performing Decline Pushup
1. Keep your hand’s shoulder-width apart to maintain the correct form. Keep your body in a straight line from shoulder to feet.
2. Maintain proper breathing pattern to keep yourself active throughout the entire fitness routine.
3. If you don’t have the strength, start with regressive exercises like the incline and the regular push-ups.
4. Attempt the exercise at the start of your daily fitness routine. Do it when you are more energized so that you can utilize total body strength more effectively.
Decline push-ups vs. Regular push-ups
Decline push-ups are significantly challenging as compared to regular push-ups and require the uses of stabilizers muscles more. Both these variations of push-ups mainly target the pectoralis muscles of the chest.
Research suggests that elevating the feet on some surface has a greater effect on stabilizing musculature. This means that this exercise is more challenging for the shoulder joints. This means that force exerted on the shoulder is more than the regular push-ups. Thus you should master the art of regular push-ups before moving to the decline push-up variation. In decline push-ups, if the grip is too wide, the range of motion will be compromised.
Decline push-ups can also work as a progressive exercise towards the freestanding handstand push-ups. If you’re using the surface which has a considerable height to provide support for your feet, then this exercise is a true progression towards the handstand push-ups. You can even ask someone else to hold your feet high up in the air, for a support to your declined push-up position.
These bodyweight exercises can be quite fruitful to your overall fitness routine if you attempt them with the right technique and form. So learn the basics and give strength to your upper body muscles.
Angular bodyweight exercises make the right use of angles to get your body in shape and increase its strength from all different angles. Though there is no change in movement in incline, regular and decline push-ups, the angles are different. This difference in angle allows the exercise to work on different muscle group in your body, by exerting different pressures on it.
This variation of the bodyweight exercise is great for your chest muscles. Attempt this exercise if you are comfortable with the regular push-ups and have the required strength to perform the decline push-ups. This exercise is great for people who have just started and got bored by working on regular push-ups. There is no harm in incorporating this exercise with your full body workout. It can also be used a progression towards more difficult exercises like the freestanding handstand push-ups. So get yourself ready to put your feet high in the air and perform some decline push-ups.