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Education • January 12, 2017

How Can You Get Bigger Arms Doing Push Ups

Best variations, workout types and more. Get the info you need to build arms at home.

How Can You Get Bigger Arms Doing Push Ups

Push Ups - it’s hard to imagine a bodyweight workout plan without them. However, they are mostly used for targeting chest muscles.

Can you use Push Ups to build bigger arms at home?

Yes, you can. And here’s how:

  • Choose the right Push Up variations
  • Do them at least 2-3 times per week
  • Use drop sets in your workout
  • Do the Push Up Limit challenge and track your progress

Choose the right Push Up variations

Target the triceps

Although they are generally considered a chest exercise, Push Ups target your arm muscles as well. Namely the triceps on the back of your arm and the small coracobrachialis muscle on the front.[1] As the triceps is the biggest muscle on your arms, targeting this muscle with the right exercises can make your arms bigger and stronger.

What about the biceps?

The truth is that Push Ups will activate your biceps, but in a rather small amount compared to how much they activate the triceps. The biceps only gets activated as the antagonist muscle in the Push Up, providing some balance and support. It's advised to do Chin Ups and other exercises that train your biceps.

Efficient Push Up Variations

Target your triceps with Diamond Push Ups or any other form of Narrow Push Ups. You can make it even harder by lifting your feet up on a higher surface, as in a Decline Push Up, which you can combine with the diamond-shaped placement of your hands.

Wondering what % of your bodyweight do you actually push in a Push Up? Check out in the short video:

One forgotten arm-blasting exercise is the Hindu Push Up. Do it as slow as possible to really feel the burn in your arms.

Check out this video on Push Up variations to see how to perform the exercises and get more ideas:

Do Push Ups at least 2-3 times per week


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If you only use Push Ups to build and shape your arms then you can do them often, at least 2-3 times per week. If you train with weights too, then you should have more rest time between hitting the same muscle group, in this case - the triceps, again.

But more Push Ups doesn't necessarily mean more muscle, check out what happens when you do 100 Push Ups a day.

To train smart you should variate as much as you can. That's why you should combine Push Ups with other bodyweight exercises. It will also help you lower your body fat percent and make your arm muscles more visible. The leaner you are, the better you can see your muscles.

A great way to mix up your workouts for best results is to use the Drop Sets.

Use Drop Sets in some of your workouts

Drop Set style workout are not only possible with weights. You can do them with bodyweight workouts, too. To create a Drop Set with Push Ups that will work for you, consider the following steps:

  1. Test and write down you Push Up Max - the maximum number of Push Ups you can do without a pause
  2. Calculate 75%, 50% and 25% of your Push Up Max and put them in the descending order in one round of your workout
  3. You can add other bodyweight exercises between the sets of Push Ups, just make sure they won't fatigue your arms.

Do the Push Up Limit Challenge

Check out the challenge in the video below. You can get more info on how to track your progress in the Push Up Limit article.

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