In addition to emphasizing your chest, shoulders and arms, pushups are really a full-body exercise, because they also engage the muscles in your legs, backs, buttocks and core. When floor pushups are getting easy to do, you might be looking for an extra challenge. This is where the decline pushup comes in handy. This exercise is harder than the traditional pushup during which your feet and hands are on the floor and you lift 65% of your body weight. Decline pushups are done with your feet on a platform while your hands stay on the floor. The higher your feet the harder the pushups will be.
Set a bench to a height of about 1 foot, and come down on all fours with your back toward the side of the bench. A bench that’s about 1 foot high will increase your lifting load to about 70% of your body weight.
Place your palms flat on the floor about shoulder-width or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs back, placing the front of your feet on top of the bench.
Tighten your abdominals, look at the floor and contract the muscles in your legs and buttocks to help align your body from your head to your feet. Your body should be straight. Avoid dropping or hiking up your hips and keep your core engaged the entire time.
Bend your elbows out as you count to three and allow your body to lower as a whole toward the floor. Your chest should be leading the motion. Inhale during the descent.
Pause one second when your chest is 3 inches above the floor. Then exhale as you push your palms into the floor, extend your elbows and slowly return to the beginning point. Focus on the contraction in your chest at the top of the exercise.
Perform as many decline pushups as you comfortably can with perfect form. Then rest and finish one more set.
Perform five minutes of light cardio to warm-up your body before doing pushups.
Science and Practice of Strength Training