5 Best Push-Ups for Lower Chest (To Try at Home)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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In my decade-long experience as a coach, a significant number of male clients come in with the same problem—a saggy chest.

So, I usually put them on a bi-weekly routine of push-up workouts and advise them on the importance of proper nutrition and adequate sleep.

To help my readers as well, I decided to team up with a physical therapist to share some of these push-up workouts that have helped my clients go from man boobs to chiseled pecs.

Here is what has worked.

Quick Summary

  • The top five push-ups for targeting the lower chest are incline push-ups, wide push-ups, one-clap push-ups, pseudo planche push-ups, and Hindu push-ups.
  • A protein-rich diet plays a crucial role in muscle building and should complement these push-up exercises for optimal results.
  • The recommended dietary allowance of protein for muscle maintenance, which is crucial for building lower chest muscles, is at least 0.8 grams per kg of body weight, according to the Medical News Today.
  • In my opinion, incorporating these specific push-up exercises into a workout routine is a highly effective way to specifically target and strengthen the lower chest area.

How Can I Workout My Lower Chest at Home?

A man doing lower chest push ups at home

You can work out your lower chest at home with push-ups that target this area, such as the incline push-up, the wide, one-clap, standard pushup, the pseudo-planche, and Hindu press-ups.

None of these require any weights or special gym equipment.

Pushups match the effectiveness of bench and dumbbell presses for toning lower pecs.

They create the necessary muscle tension for hypertrophy in the lower chest, essential for building strength and tone.

However, remember, muscle development involves more than just exercise.

Nutrition is Key

After years of personal training, I've seen firsthand how a protein-rich diet is crucial for muscle building - it's as vital as the workouts themselves.

The recommended dietary allowance of protein for muscle maintenance is at least 0.8 grams per kg of protein or more if you’re trying to build muscle, according to the Medical News Today [1].

Meeting your protein needs solely through meals can be challenging.

Supplementing with protein powder is a practical solution to fill any nutritional gaps, aiding in muscle growth.

Remember, sufficient sleep and hydration are also key, but we'll focus on that later. Now, let's explore some effective lower chest exercises.

5 Best Push-Ups for the Lower Chest

A woman doing pushups for her lower chest

Below are five lower chest exercises.

For each push-up, perform at least 1-3 sets, each about 8-15 repetitions.

1. Incline Push-Ups

From my experience, incline push-ups are fantastic for the lower chest, unlike decline push-ups which target the upper area.

You only need a higher surface and your body weight to do incline push-ups.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get to a plank position and place your hands on an elevated surface shoulder width apart.
  2. Now, slowly drop your torso or trunk till your wrists are at chest level and pause for 1-2 seconds.
  3. Now push away from the surface until your elbows are extended.

Other more advanced variations of the incline push-up include:

  • Push-ups on parallel bars or two parallel surfaces with a hole in between to lower your body even further.
  • Incline push-up on an unstable surface.

2. The Wide Push-Up

A person doing wide push ups at home

In my coaching sessions, I've seen how widening the arms in push-ups really amps up the focus on the lower chest.

It also works your shoulder and back muscles as well.

Here's how to do the wide push-up:

  1. Start by getting to a plank position and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Now bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor.
  3. Once the torso gets below your elbows, pause for 1-2 seconds.
  4. Straighten your elbows to lift up your body back to where you started, and repeat.

3. One-clap Push-Ups

I've tried the one-clap push-up with seasoned clients, and it's definitely a challenging yet effective move for the lower chest.

So if you're a beginner, you might want to sit this out until you achieve a higher fitness level.

But if you're experienced and have confidence in your push-up game, follow these steps:

  1. As usual, start in a plank position.
  2. Pull down your body like a standard push-up.
  3. Now, once your trunk reaches below your elbows, pause, then lift up with enough force for your trunk to push up and your hands to leave the floor and clap.
  4. Land softly on the ground and repeat.

4. Pseudo Planche

A person doing Pseudo Planche pushups

Having incorporated the pseudo planche in my routines, I can vouch for its effectiveness on the lower chest and core.

Essentially you support your entire body weight with your hands as your entire anatomy is suspended in the air behind you.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Lay down in a plank position with your legs fully extended behind you.
  2. Place your hands alongside your stomach and your palms facing backward or to the side.
  3. Bend your arms and lower your chest.
  4. Lift up while pushing your torso forward by moving your toes.

5. Hindu Push-Ups

The Hindu push-up can be traced back to Indian wrestlers and martial arts [2].

“Hindu Push-up is an excellent compound exercise that benefits the whole upper body by targeting your Pectoral, Deltoids, Triceps, Serratus anterior, subscapularis, hip, and spine flexor.”

- Harsh Chauhan, Chief Editor at alphamale.co

In my experience, Hindu push-ups are excellent for the lower chest and overall body engagement, enhancing flexibility too.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Go down to a plank position and get into a downward-facing dog-pose position.
  2. Lower your back and move forward as if slipping under a bar. As you're moving forward, push your chest and upper region up.
  3. Get back to the starting position and repeat.

Useful Tips

A person doing pushups indoors at home

Performing chest exercises correctly prevents the likelihood of an injury and is also the foundation of muscle activation.

Through my coaching years, I've emphasized correct form in chest exercises to my clients, significantly reducing injury risks and improving muscle engagement.

Here are more tips for training the lower chest:

  • Warm up for about 10 minutes before training, and do some gentle stretches after exercise.
  • Always move in a controlled manner.
  • Do enough sets and reps.
  • Work the pec 2-3 times a week with a rest day or two in between training sessions.

Optimizing your workout routine to include push-ups effectively requires a structured approach. Dividing your regimen into upper and lower body days ensures balanced muscle development. On upper body days, include various push-up variations alongside complementary exercises like dumbbell presses and cable crossovers for a comprehensive workout.

To add diversity and increased resistance to your push-up routine, consider integrating equipment like dumbbells, stability balls, or medicine balls. For instance, performing dumbbell presses or single-arm push-ups using a medicine ball can significantly elevate the intensity of your lower chest workouts.

FAQs

Do Diamond Push-Ups Work Lower Chest?

Yes, diamond push-ups work the lower chest. The push-up activates the pectoralis major, a significant muscle covering the chest bone. Exercising this muscle also builds up the pecs.

How Many Push-Ups Should I Do a Day?

You should do 50-100 push-ups a day to maintain an excellent upper-body physique. Start small with 20 and steadily graduate to higher reps as your fitness level improves while incorporating other pushup variations.

Combine Your Workouts with a Protein Supplement

Combining push-ups that target the lower chest with a high-protein diet can give you well-defined pecs.

But this requires a lot of hardwork and commitment as it might take long before you can see the results.

That’s why I recommend adding a protein powder to your training and diet.

We’ve tested these products extensively and have only included the top ones that have yielded the best testing data results.


References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-much-protein-do-you-need-to-build-muscle
  2. https://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_singh_0600.htm
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