Incorrect push-up form minimizes upper-body growth. Although pounding out 50-plus at max speed may feel impressive, the results will not be.
Basic Push-Ups strengthen the entire body, but a slight form error and can seriously strain the lower back.
General Technique Errors
- Sagging Lower Back. A drooping lower back not only transfers tension away from the targeted chest and shoulder muscles, it can also contribute to lower back strain or soreness.
- Performing Partial Reps.
- Incorrect Hand Position. Intense or advanced versions can involve partial reps or hands placed farther away from the chest (See 10 Powerful Push-Up Variations.)
Perfect Push-Up Technique
- Hands approximately shoulder-width apart at chest level
- Back straight
- Slowly lower in two seconds until the chest is one inch from the floor
- Pause one second
- Press up in one second
Push Up Benefits
Push-Ups are a great weight-bearing bodyweight exercise for both the season and the off-season. Bonus: since they don't require equipment (except for more difficult variations) they are convenient and require minimal space.
3 Intense Push-Ups
Set a new standard by further challenging your muscles with these three intense push-up variations. Try one per workout.
Elevated Super-Slow Push-Ups
- Place feet atop a chair or bench and hands shoulder-width apart
- Lower in 10 seconds
- Press up in four seconds
- Rest 60 seconds between sets
- Assume standard push-up position
- Slowly lower and quickly press up with hands leaving the ground between reps
- Rest 60 seconds between sets.
Fast Med Ball Partial Rep Push-Ups
- Assume push-up position with hands on a medicine ball and arms slightly bent
- Rapidly perform partial range reps up and down
- Rest 30 seconds between sets