The pushup is a fundamental, upper-body strength exercise. Your body weight serves as the resistance during the pushup, but you can increase or decrease the amount of weight you press by adjusting your body position. An incline pushup decreases the weight and a decline pushup increases the weight.
Perform a decline pushup with your hands lower than your feet. You can use just about any sturdy object to prop up your feet, such as a chair, box, weight bench, step or railing. After you place your feet on the object, adjust your hands so your wrists are directly under your shoulders.
To do an incline pushup, position your hands higher than your feet. As with the decline pushup, you can use just about any sturdy object to prop up your upper body. Use a wall to do the most basic version of the incline pushup. Stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall at shoulder-height. The farther your feet are from the wall, the more challenging the exercise.
An incline pushup is easier than a standard pushup, and a decline pushup is more difficult than a standard pushup. The more you incline your body -- the higher you place your hands in relation to your feet -- the easier the exercise is because you are pressing less weight. The more you decline your body -- the lower you place your hands in relation to your feet -- the more difficult the exercise is because you are transferring more weight to your hands.
Do the incline, standard or decline pushup with the same basic techniques. Your body should be a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Keep your back straight, and do not allow your hips to lift or sag. Position your wrists in line with your shoulders -- not in front of behind your shoulders. Inhale as you lower your body toward the floor, and exhale as you press back up. Move your body as one unit.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.