Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Wall Push Up Overview

For those who cannot perform a bodyweight push up, the wall push up should be your starting point.

The wall push up is the easiest variation of the push up and can help strengthen the pushing muscles of the upper body needed to perform a bodyweight push up.

Once one has mastered the wall push up, they can progress to incline push ups and/or eccentric push ups.

Wall Push Up Instructions

  1. Assume a standing position against a wall. Take a few steps away from the wall and lean in with your body at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Keep the elbows locked out and ensure your body is in a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Inhale and brace your core. Slowly descend by retracting the shoulder blades and unlocking the elbows.
  4. Descend until the upper arms are parallel or your chest touches the wall.
  5. Push back to the starting point by extending the elbows and driving your palms into the wall.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Wall Push Up Tips

  1. This is the simplest push up regression and should be used before progressing to incline pushups.
  2. Your arms should resemble an arrow in the bottom position, not a “T”.
  3. Your spine should remain rigid throughout the entire exercise, think of the push up as a moving plank.
  4. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs before descending to keep the ribcage neutral.
  5. Keep the chin down and don’t look forward.
  6. Imagine you’re trying to push your thumbs together while completing the movement, this will improve activation of the pecs.
  7. Don’t allow the head to jut forward, the chest should touch at the same time as your nose.
  8. Think about trying to push yourself as far away from the wall as possible.
    • Ensure you push all the way through the wall at the top of the repetition and allow your shoulder blades to move around your ribcage.
    • Most folks cut the repetition short and don’t garner the full benefits.