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How to Strengthen Chest Muscles with Wall Push-Ups

2 of 6 in Series: The Essentials of Day 1 of Your Ten-Minute Tone-Up

Wall push-ups are perfect for a beginner, but all levels benefit from this exercise. Although traditional push-ups work the chest, arms, and shoulders, wall push-ups are an excellent alternative for beginners who want to build strength to get to a more advanced level. Wall push-ups are also a good choice if you want to strengthen the chest but have back problems, because they put no stress on your spine.

To do wall push-ups, follow these steps:

  1. Stand in front of a bare wall and lift your arms up to shoulder level. Place your palms against the wall so that they are slightly wider than your shoulders. Your fingertips should be pointing up. Back your feet a couple feet away from the wall so that your elbows are bent as you lean on an angle into the wall.

    Don’t arch your back. Arching your back during a chest exercise can put too much pressure on the lower spine and cause injury.

    Hold your tummy in and tuck your butt under throughout the exercise. This helps to support your upp
    Hold your tummy in and tuck your butt under throughout the exercise. This helps to support your upper body.
  2. Inhale before beginning the exercise and exhale as you push off the wall until your arms are in an outstretched position with elbows slightly bent. Inhale as you go back to the starting position.

    Repeat the move five to ten times. As you progress you can gradually work up to 20 or more wall push-ups for increased chest strength. When you are able to complete the exercise with ease using the proper form described, increase the repetitions by a few Wall Push-ups.

If you are more advanced, use these techniques:

  • Pause: As you return to start from the extended arm position, stop and pause halfway. Hold for a few seconds and continue to move slightly forward. Stop and pause again for a few seconds. Stop and pause one more time before returning to start.

  • Use a slow pace: This is another advanced variation. Try doing the wall push-up at a very slow pace. Count very slowly up to four as you push off the wall and count slowly to four as you return to start. This increases the tension in the chest and arms.

Breathing properly during a chest exercise accelerates positive results. Be sure to exhale during the point of exertion. Simply put — exhale or blow the air out during the “pushing” part of the exercise.

Don’t lock your elbows during chest exercises. Doing these exercises with straight arms can put unnecessary stress on your elbow joint and cause an injury such as tendonitis.

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