This Pushup Variation Will Give You Better Results—And A Bigger Kilojoule Burn

by | Jan 15, 2018 | Fitness

By Rachael Schultz

We compared the decline pushup and the foot-elevated pushup to see which would come out on top.

Cranking out pushups is a great way to tone not only your arms and chest, but also your core. But if you’re ready to take your basic pushup game to the next level, what’s your best bet? We checked in with Pete McCall, a San Diego-based trainer and host of the All About Fitness podcast, to ask him which pushup variation will get you more bang for your buck: foot-elevated or decline?

According to McCall, the foot-elevated variation will give you a killer core burn (especially those stabilising obliques), but the real muscle building lies in the decline. “The decline is better for overall strength development and muscular definition. Because all the weight is loaded onto the lowest point, you’re using more upper-body muscles—specifically the chest, shoulder, and triceps—which helps build strength faster,” he explains. “Plus, the more muscles you’re using, the greater your kilojoule expenditure, so the decline pushup also delivers more of a kilojoule burn.”

Woman doing a pushup
READ MORE: “I Did A 30-Day Push-Up Challenge—Here’s What Happened”

The verdict: Go for decline! However, both are still great moves, and totally worthy of a spot in your fitness routine. To get more details on how to do each, check out the below:

Foot-Elevated Pushup: Get into pushup position and raise your left foot off the floor. Lower your body toward the floor and then push yourself back up to starting position, keeping your foot off the ground the entire time. That’s one rep.

Decline Pushup: Get into pushup position and place your feet on a bench or stacked risers. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause and then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep.

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