Push-Ups are a ubiquitous exercise, but they’re often done wrong. Let’s work on the correct way to do them.
Hold a plank position to get yourself ready for a real Push-Up. Your body should be rigid and rock-solid from your ears to your heels.
- Lie face down with your hands roughly in line with your chest.
- Stack your elbows over your wrists.
- With your legs squeezed together, point your heels so they are behind your toes on the ground.
- Lock your knees out.
- “Tuck your tail” as if you were trying to make your butt disappear. At this point, you should feel your abs “turn on.” Lock this in! Your midsection should not move during a Push-Up.
- Gently roll your shoulders down and back, pulling them away from your ears.
- Think about sliding the floor apart with your hands (you should feel the backs of your shoulder tense up, which will aid your Push-Up).
- Push up from your hands to straighten your arms at the elbows, without losing any of the tension you created lying face down.
- Pull your chest to the ground from the top and repeat.
Most push-up mistakes can be avoided if you follow the technique and make sure you are in a good starting position.
To avoid “moving in pieces,” pretend you are a single solid piece of steel. Your entire body should move in the same direction at the same time. Make sure you can hold a plank for more than a minute. If you struggle with that or want to switch it up, do some variations of Dead Bugs. This will help you keep a stable core while moving your limbs around it.
Poor mechanics often arise from weakness in the spine and upper body. To maximize your strength, perform the Push-Up by starting on your knees rather than with your legs straight. Fold your heels toward your body. All the other rules still apply. You should form a straight line from your knees to your ears. You can also do full Push-Ups by raising your chest height with a bench or a power rack.