Pushups for Biceps

Woman doing pushups

The standard pushup is one of the best bodyweight exercises that is used in the military and by personal trainers to improve your chest, deltoids and triceps. While those muscle groups directly benefit from pushups, one important arm muscle that is not directly targeted in the pushup is the bicep.

Because your biceps are a natural antagonist to your triceps, they normally require pulling rather than pushing exercises to build muscle. With some pushup variations, however, the bicep can be effectively targeted; one such variation is having your hands close together at the start as opposed to the shoulder-width push-up position used in regular pushups.

The Inside Pushup

An exercise known as the inside pushup will target your biceps and also the muscles in your upper back. To perform the movement, put your hands together (or no more than 3 inches apart) and complete the normal process of lowering yourself to the floor and pushing back up again.

This exercise means your arms curl more, giving your biceps a workout, essentially making them “bicep pushups.” If you cannot feel your biceps straining in the front of your arms, your hands are probably not close enough to one another.

Single-Arm Pushups

A single-arm pushup also targets your biceps, as well as your chest, triceps and shoulders. Adopt the usual position of a straight back, but have your feet out wide from one another. From there, lift one arm off the ground and hold it near your thigh. Now, place all of your weight on the hand on the ground and perform a pushup.

Unless you are very fit and strong, you will probably find this exercise tough, so try modified single-arm pushups. Instead of resting on your feet, rest on your knees, and you will have a lot less weight to push. Try 10 repetitions on each hand.


For both beginner lifters to advanced lifters, incorporating the pushup into strength training and workout routines is extremely beneficial because of its simple, yet effective movement that makes it one of the best exercises for upper-body strength and bigger arms. Utilizing pushups can effectively target chest muscles, deltoid muscles, the abdomen and tricep muscles, allowing for an individual to his several upper body muscles at once.

You perform a basic pushup on your hands and toes. Keep your back straight and your feet no more than 12 inches apart. In a typical pushup, your hands rest on the floor in line with your shoulders. Bending your arms, lower your body to the floor as far as possible and then push yourself back up. Once you push yourself back up, you have completed one rep.


Your biceps muscle is made up of two things in your upper arm:

  • Biceps brachii
  • The brachialis

Together, they cover the front of your upper arm, help you move your elbow and are very important when playing sports, such as tennis. When a bodybuilder flexes their biceps, they typically curl their fist toward their shoulder to accentuate them. You typically work your biceps by performing bicep curls and other pulling movements, while your triceps and chest are worked out by pushing exercises like triceps extensions and bench presses.

Recommended biceps exercises usually include barbell curls, chinups and hammer curls, and rarely include pushups.

Other Pushup Variations

While all pushup variations have the same starting position, with your hands and toes on the ground, some variations call for unique hand or foot placement.

Such variations include:

  • Diamond push-ups, which put lots of pressure on the triceps
  • Incline pushups, which put lots of pressure on the upper part of the pecs
  • Decline pushups, which put lots of pressure on the lower chest muscles
  • Dumbbell pushups

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