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Do Pushups Work Biceps? Unveiling the Truth

Do Pushups Work Biceps

Do Pushups Work Biceps?

Building robust biceps is a common fitness goal, even for those dedicated to at-home workouts. The push-up, a staple in bodyweight exercises, is often misunderstood in its ability to target the biceps effectively. This article aims to shed light on the intricacies of push-ups, explain why they may not be the ideal choice for biceps training, and introduce modified variations that can enhance your at-home workout routine. Do Pushups Work Biceps? Let’s See!

Do Pushups Work Biceps?

Do Pushups Work Biceps
Do Pushups Work Biceps

Absolutely, push-ups do work biceps, but their role is more secondary compared to muscles like the triceps and chest. In a standard push-up, the primary movement involves elbow extension, where the triceps are the primary movers. The biceps come into play as stabilizers, supporting the movement and helping to control the descent.

If your main goal is to specifically target and isolate the biceps, there are more effective exercises like bicep curls or chin-ups. However, incorporating push-up variations that emphasize different hand placements or angles can increase the activation of the biceps.

So, while push-ups may not be the ultimate bicep builder, they do contribute to overall arm strength and can be a valuable part of a comprehensive upper-body workout routine. So, do pushups work biceps? The answer is Yes!

What are Push-Ups?

In essence, the push-up is a multi-joint compound exercise utilizing the body’s own weight as resistance. Primarily recognized for their role in chest workouts, push-ups contribute significantly to upper-body muscle development and are widely incorporated into various training programs.

What Muscles are Worked by Push-Ups?

Push-ups engage multiple muscle groups, with emphasis on the triceps, pectoral muscles, and anterior deltoids. While other muscles like the serratus anterior and abdominal muscles receive some stimulus, the focus on the biceps is limited.

What are the Biceps Brachii?

The biceps brachii, located in the upper arm, play a vital role in forearm movements. As elbow flexors, they contribute to bending the arm and are favored by bodybuilders for their aesthetic appeal. Training the biceps involves providing counter resistance during dynamic range movements, a function not effectively addressed by traditional push-ups.

How are Push-Ups Performed?

The standard push-up involves a plank stance, arms extended, and shoulders-width apart. The core is engaged, and the body is lowered by bending the elbows, with the repetition completed upon returning to the plank position.

Why Don’t Push-Ups Train the Biceps?

Push-ups fall short in training the biceps due to their biomechanics. Since push-ups lack resistance against elbow flexion, a primary function of the biceps, they do not stimulate significant growth in this muscle group.

Push-Up Variations for Biceps Activation:

Do Pushups Work Biceps
  1. Reverse Facing Push-Ups:
    • Muscles Worked: Biceps, Triceps, Chest
    • How-to: Face the opposite direction during push-ups, engaging the biceps more intensely.
  2. Reverse Grip Push-Ups:
    • Muscles Worked: Biceps, Chest, Triceps
    • How-to: Rotate wrists until fingers point backward, leaning forward to shift more weight onto the arms.
  3. Archer Push-Ups:
    • Muscles Worked: Biceps, Chest, Triceps, Shoulders
    • How-to: Perform a push-up while extending one arm to the side, emphasizing unilateral biceps engagement.
  4. Diamond Push-Ups:
    • Muscles Worked: Biceps, Triceps, Chest
    • How-to: Place hands close together beneath the chest, creating a diamond shape, and intensifying biceps involvement.

How To Train Your Biceps With Push-Ups:

While traditional push-ups engage the biceps as dynamic stabilizers, specific variations can target them more effectively. The bicep push-up, achieved by changing hand placement and leaning forward, activates the biceps by placing the wrist further from the shoulder.

Additionally, ring push-ups with a turnout at the end and the challenging pelican push-up offer advanced alternatives for those seeking to push their biceps training further.


Understanding the limitations of traditional push-ups in targeting the biceps opens the door to modified variations that can enhance your at-home workout routine. By incorporating these biceps-focused push-up variations, you can achieve a well-rounded upper-body workout, bringing you closer to your fitness goals.

So this was the end of the article- Do Pushups Work Biceps? Yes or No! I hope you liked it, if so, kindly read our other articles too-

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