10 Best Push Exercises for a Powerful Upper Body

push exercises

What are push exercises?

In push exercises, you either push something away from your body (for example, in a bench press, you push the barbell off your chest) or push something against your body (for example, in a push-up, you push against the ground).

Push exercises can help you with everyday tasks like pushing a heavy shopping cart or piece of furniture, in addition to helping you build muscle.

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The 10 best push exercises are:

  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Pec deck
  • Barbell overhead press
  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell push press
  • Single-arm resistance band shoulder press
  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Dumbbell shoulder press
  • Dumbbell overhead tricep extension

1. Push-ups
-Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
-Straighten your arms and legs.
-Drop your body until your chest is almost parallel to the ground
-Resume your upward motion after pausing.

2. Dips
To perform a chair dip, do the following:

-Your fingers should be pointed forward as you place your hands on the chair's surface. When starting, your arms should be straight.
-Return to the starting position after lowering your body until your arms are at a 90-degree angle at the elbow.
-Repeat for a full set.

3. Pec deck
You sit on the upright seat and press the inside of your forearms against the levers, which frequently have protective padding attached to them, to perform the pec deck. You extend your chest while bending your arms at a 90-degree angle. After that, you hug the levers together to exercise your pecs.

4. Barbell overhead press
Standing in front of a weighted barbell, perform overhead presses with the barbell. Holding the barbell on your upper chest and front shoulders after it has been unracked. Lift the bar overhead, then gradually bring it back down. For the desired number of repetitions, repeat this motion.

5. Barbell bench press
Grip a barbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. The bar should be directly over the shoulders. Press your feet firmly into the ground and keep your hips on the bench throughout the entire movement. Keep your core engaged and maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement.

6. Barbell push press
Your elbows should be pointing forward and the bar should be positioned so that it rests on the front of your shoulders. Legs bent, descend into a very shallow squat. Straighten your legs by pressing through your heels. Lift the bar above your head and pause when you reach the top as soon as your legs are straight.

7. Single-arm resistance band shoulder press
One foot should be placed on a resistance band as you hold the handle with the opposite hand, which should be parallel to your shoulder. Bring the handle back to its starting position after raising it until your arm is fully extended overhead, then repeat on the opposite side.

8. Dumbbell bench press
The dumbbell bench press exercise is done while flat-backing on a bench. Dumbbells are in your possession; place them on your hips. Lift the dumbbells above your chest while working your glutes and core. Once more, lowering your shoulders until your upper and lower arms are at a 90-degree angle, squeeze your shoulder blades.

9. Dumbbell shoulder press
Keep your back straight and posture upright. With an overhand grip, hold a dumbbell in each hand at the shoulders. Knuckles are facing up, and thumbs are on the inside.

- Exhale as you raise the weights above the head in a controlled motion.
- Pause briefly at the top of the motion.
- Inhale and return the dumbbells to the shoulders.

10. Dumbbell overhead triceps extension
Standing straight and with both arms extended, hold a single dumbbell behind your head. Exhale as you bring the weight overhead by raising your arms upward. Continue until your arms are straight and fully extended overhead, being careful not to let your upper arm move throughout this process.

Here's a list of 10 frequently asked questions about upper body push exercises along with their answers:

What are upper body push exercises?

Upper body push exercises are movements that involve pushing resistance away from your body using the muscles of your upper body, such as the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

What are some examples of upper body push exercises?

Examples of upper body push exercises include push-ups, bench press, shoulder press, chest press, dips, and overhead dumbbell press.

What muscles do upper body push exercises target?

Upper body push exercises primarily target the muscles of the chest (pectoralis major and minor), shoulders (deltoids), and triceps.

Are upper body push exercises only for men?

No, upper body push exercises are beneficial for both men and women. They help improve overall upper body strength and muscle definition.

Can I do upper body push exercises if I have shoulder pain?
If you have shoulder pain or a shoulder injury, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before performing upper body push exercises.

How often should I do upper body push exercises?

The frequency of upper body push exercises depends on your fitness goals and overall workout routine. Generally, 2-3 sessions per week with adequate rest between workouts is recommended.

Can I do upper body push exercises at home without equipment?

Yes, there are various upper body push exercises that can be done at home without equipment, such as push-ups, incline push-ups, and tricep dips using a sturdy chair or elevated surface.

Should I increase the weight or repetitions for upper body push exercises?

Both increasing weight (resistance) and repetitions can be effective for progressing in upper body push exercises. It depends on your goals and preferences. Gradually challenging yourself with heavier weights or increasing repetitions can promote strength and muscle growth.

Are there any variations to target specific upper body muscles?

Yes, there are variations of upper body push exercises that can target specific muscles. For example, incline or decline push-ups can emphasize the upper or lower chest, respectively.

Can upper body push exercises help with posture improvement?

Yes, upper body push exercises, particularly those that target the upper back muscles (such as push-ups with a plus or standing dumbbell press), can help strengthen the muscles responsible for good posture and shoulder stability.

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