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How to Build Muscle Doing Push Ups

This article shows a straightforward method to build and strengthen your chest, triceps, and shoulders by utilizing the wonderfully simple exercise known as the push up.


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    Start the first week by doing as many push-ups as you can comfortably perform. When you feel some meaningful strain, stop. This might be as few as 5 or 10, perhaps even less. You need to start small in order to get best results.
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    Repeat your set of push-ups as many times every other day at the maximum frequency you can comfortably do. You will want to work up to doing 10 sets a day, but, for starters, 3 is probably a good number to shoot for. If you punish yourself now, you will not keep up your program for very long.
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    Make sure your push-up form is correct. It is easy to put your butt up in the air and/or not go all the way down to the floor, or otherwise "cheat" on your form. But if you do this, you will not reap the full benefits of the exercise. Your knees should be nearly locked, and your arms will be carrying the full load of your push-up. Your chest should nearly (but not quite) brush against the floor. With each push-up, your arms will be completely extended (but not locked) when you raise yourself up fully.
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    Make sure that you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
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    Once you can do your normal number several times every other day, add a few more push-ups to your routine. Be sure to tighten all of your muscles and they will build. You will need to be able to push yourself to get to your set goal for that week.
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    Perform this routine consistently and you will notice strength gains. Persevere, for muscle mass follows strength and after a few months you should begin to notice gains in muscle mass. Keep it up and you can look like the man in the photographs; he does 300 every other day (alternating with other exercises).
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    You can do pushups nearly anywhere. During a TV commercial, before your shower, in a vacant room at work.
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    If you feel like this is an impossible task, find an exercise buddy. They can cheer you on or even do it alongside you.
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    Once you are able to do more than 15 push-ups slowly and with perfect form, add more resistance to the push-up in order to continue challenging your muscles and stimulating growth. You can increase resistance by wearing a weighted vest, having someone sit on your upper back or push down on your upper back, using a resistance band, or even filling a backpack with weight and wearing the backpack while doing push-ups. Also, you can vary the push-up routine in order to challenge your muscles in brand new ways and increase resistance.


  • Be sure to get plenty of sleep as well. This will also assist recovery.
  • To build muscle size using muscular hypertrophy, you need to be doing an exercise where you can only do a maximum of about 6-10 reps (not being physically able to do anymore repetitions after the final repetition) Push ups build muscular endurance if you can do a large amount like 20 or more repetitions. If you can do more than 15 push-ups in a row slowly and with perfect form, then you need added resistance. You can do this by adding sufficient weight to make the push up more difficult. You can fill a backpack with weight to make the push up more difficult, and/or you can vary the push up routine.
  • Be sure to drink lots of water.
  • Be sure to have a balanced diet with lots of protein and limit saturated fat. The recommended daily requirement for protein is 46 grams for women and 56 for men, so make sure to be in excess of this.
  • Be sure to get plenty of foods that contain carbohydrates, especially after working out.
  • Be sure to do this every other day, so that your muscles have sufficient time to recover.


  • Do not neglect a back workout. People who do only push ups have a disproportional upper body. Besides looking stupid, an overdeveloped chest and an underdeveloped back may lead to shoulder problems. This is due to the fact that the chest muscles will pull harder on the shoulder than the back muscles, leaving you with an unbalanced shoulder. Do a back workout with roughly the same volume as your chest workout.
  • Never neglect a proper warm up. A good warm up involves doing movements that make you feel warm and your heart beat quickly. It also involves doing dynamic stretches, or stretches that involve motion, like shrugs and leg swings. Contrary to popular belief, only doing static stretching is not sufficient and may even increase your risk of tearing a muscle.[citation needed] This is because your muscles should be warm before you stretch, and stretching a cold muscle can actually be dangerous. A great warm up for push ups would be 3 sets of 10-15 knee push ups, with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.
  • More isn't always better. Give your upper body at least a day of rest. That means that the most frequently that you should do this is every other day.
  • Do not push your limits too much or you could severely tear your muscles, which might affect your life in another way.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor
  • Backpack or weighted vest (optional)
  • Buddy (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Push Ups and Press Ups | Articles in Need of Sources