The Best Variations of Push-Ups For Biceps

Push-ups have a reputation for being the most common and convenient exercise for building the upper body. It is inarguably effective. It mainly targets the triceps, shoulders, chest muscles, bigger arms, abdominal muscles, etc.

Push-ups only minimally involve and stimulate the biceps. Biceps are an important muscle group to give your arms the strength, shape, and bulk for a sculptured upper body.

Fortunately, you can modify the push-up in several ways in order to focus on your biceps. Read on for more information about the best variations of push-ups for biceps.

What Are The Biceps?

push up man

Technically called biceps brachii, the biceps are large two-headed muscles on the front of the upper arms between the elbow and the shoulder.   Together with other arm muscles like the brachioradialis and brachialis, the biceps allow you to flex your elbows and shoulders and rotate your forearm.

The two heads of the biceps are composed of one long head and one short head. They are both activated when performing bicep exercises although they give different responses to certain movements.

Aside from achieving a better-looking aesthetic of huge muscles, working out the biceps is also important. Because these muscles are important for pulling, lifting, and pushing. Ignoring them may mean gradually losing these vital arm functions as you grow older. 

Routine tasks will be more challenging or nearly impossible and your joints and other muscle groups will also be compromised. These include the forearms, wrists, elbows, latissimus dorsi muscles, and shoulders.

If your core bicep muscles become weak, you can’t protect your tendons, ligaments, and joints. You can’t fully develop none of the other upper arm muscles.

Variations of push-ups:

There is a lot of push-up variations that you can use for your home workout. Pushups can give you upper body strength, bigger biceps, shoulder muscles, muscle activation, core strength etc. You can get a list below:

  • Regular pushup
  • Decline push up
  • Grip push up
  • Wide push up
  • Narrow push up
  • Diamond push up
  • Standard push up
  • Wall push up
  • Modified push-up
  • Incline push up etc.

Targeting Your Biceps

push up

While bicep curls seem to be the go-to exercise for targeting the biceps directly, push-up variations can also work. However, the difference is you also target other muscle groups with push-ups, which is actually a win-win.

The first thing you need to know about working the biceps is that it should be part of a comprehensive strength-building routine. While focusing solely on the biceps seems to be a good idea given their function and role in building size and strength, this can actually result in imbalances.

You can also work out unless other related and adjacent muscles. But then disproportion can arise. It can affect your posture, and the alignment of the elbows and shoulders, and make your upper arm and body more prone to injury.

Since the biceps are relatively smaller than the chest and back, always exercise with a lighter weight. This allows you to flex and relax your muscles in isolation, or without involving other muscles, in order to correct asymmetry or imbalances.

Here are the basic rules when coming up with an upper arm workout routine:

  • Do bicep exercises for up to three non-consecutive days every week, which gives you at least a day for your body to rest and your muscles to recover.
  • Increase the number of days between bicep workouts if you are dealing with heavier weights but lower reps.
  • If you aim to improve strength and endurance, do 1-3 sets of 12-16 repetitions separated by at least one day of rest.

Pushups For Biceps

There are several pushup variations that allow you to focus on the biceps while also targeting related muscles such as the triceps, abs, shoulders, and chest muscles. Here are the step-by-step instructions for performing each of these variations:

1. Modified Single Arm Pushup

Step 1: Start by getting on your knees and hands on the floor.

Step 2: Position your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and push your hips downward and forward. 

Step 3: While keeping your core and abdominals engaged, slowly lower your chest to the floor with your elbows tucked close to your body. 

Step 4: Push your body back up then raise your right arm a few inches above the floor, transferring all the weight on the left arm.

Step 5: Repeat the motion but this time lifts the left arm a few inches from the floor. 

Step 6: Keep alternating the arms to complete 10 reps.

2. Staggered-Arm Push-Up

Step 1: Get down on all fours with your wrist directly underneath your shoulders and your hips pushed forward.

Step 2: With your abs contracted, position your hands so that they are shoulder-width apart.

Step 3: Then, move your right arm forward so that it is four to six inches above your left arm.

Step 4: Lower your body close to the ground with your elbows tucked.

Step 5: Push your body back up to the starting position and repeat this for 10 reps.

Step 6: Switch your hands so that the left arm is four to six inches above the right arm this time.

Step 7: Do another 10 reps just like before.

3. Bosu Push-Up

Step 1: Place a Bosu ball on the floor with the flat side facing up.

Step 2: Kneel down on the floor and then place your hands on the sides of the flat side of the Bosu ball, making sure your wrists are still placed underneath your shoulders.

Step 3: Push your hips forward as you would when performing any other pushup variation.

Step 4: Engage your abs, lift your knees off the ground, and lower your chest toward the floor. Step 5: Return to the starting position by pushing your body back up while still making sure the Bosu ball is balanced under your arms. 

Step 6: Perform ten repetitions of the exercise.

4. Dumbbell Row Push-Up

Step 1: Place a couple of dumbbells on the floor.

Step 2: Set your body in a pushup position with your knees and hands slightly wider than hip-width apart on the floor.

Step 3: Push your hips downward and to the front. 

Step 4: Grab the handles of the dumbbells using a neutral twist.

Step 5: Lift your knees off the floor. 

Step 6: Make sure the dumbbells won’t slide away, lower your body closer to the floor, pause for a second, and then push your body back up. 

Step 7: Once in the starting position, lift the dumbbell on your right hand close to your chest using rowing instead of a curling motion while keeping your elbow close to the ribs.

Step 8: Hold the position for a moment, lower the dumbbell back down, and raise the other dumbbell. 

Step 9: Do this for a total of 10 repetitions. You can also lower your body down and push it back up before rowing with the other side.

Here is a more detailed way how to perform this exercise:


push up man with one arm

There you have it! These push-ups for the biceps will help you develop huge, strong arms. Did you like this article? If so, feel free to leave a comment down below and share it with your family and friends! For more articles like this and fitness product reviews, check out this page!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Is pushup a bodyweight exercise?

Push-up is one of the most important fundamental bodyweight exercises. It will help your upper body, and lower body, maintain body weight, pectoral muscle, etc.

  • What are the benefits of pushups?

You can burn your calories, lower your back from a shoulder injury, improving posture through regular push up.

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