Arm, Shoulder and
Chest Building Exercise

For a simple, powerful chest building exercise that also strengthens and tones your arms and shoulders, do push ups. Push ups are probably the best-known of all arm and chest muscle exercises. The below photo shows how to do them using push up bars - a brilliant piece of equipment that reduces stress on your wrists and lets you lower and stretch your chest more than if your hands are directly on the floor. Push ups aren't just for men either - they're also an excellent exercise for women, to firm your breasts and increase tone and strength in your arms. While push ups are a safe, easy arm and chest building exercise, be careful if you have wrist, shoulder or lower back problems.

Push Ups - Arm, Shoulder
& Chest Building Exercise


1. The standard position is with your hands on the floor a little more than shoulder width apart and fingers pointing forward. If you have push up bars, also place them about shoulder width apart.

2. Squat down, put your hands in place, and extend your legs behind you with your feet resting on your toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toes - look at the floor and don't stick your butt up.

3. Inhale as you gently and smoothly lower your body till your chest is just above the ground. Exhale as you push up till your arms are straight. That's one repetition. Do 2 or 3 sets of 10-15 reps, a couple of times a week.

Alternate Push Up Positions

1. Knee Push Ups (easy) - As above but with knees on the floor, feet in the air and ankles together or crossed.

2. One Arm Push Ups (difficult) - As above but put one arm on your lower back and push up with the other arm.

Benefits of Push Ups

  • Strengthen & tone your chest muscles
  • Strengthen & tone your shoulders & arms
  • Strengthen your elbows, wrists & hands
  • Firm your stomach & abs


  • Don't overdo it if you have wrist, shoulder or low back problems
  • Vary your hand and feet positions sometimes, e.g. hands closer together, or feet wider apart
  • Combine push ups with other upper body and chest building exercises, like pull ups (see below)

For more arm, shoulder and chest building exercises, including stretching and toning exercises, and hand and wrist exercises, see:

Pull Ups
Chest Expander
Arm Rotations
Hand & Wrist Exercises

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