How to do Pushups Correctly and Safely

 
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INTRODUCTION

One of the most well-known exercises, the Push Up has been one of the core movements in the fitness industry. They are often used as a marker of fitness and of Upper Body Strength. There are many pushup variations, making it one of the most scalable exercises possible.

Unfortunately, many people perform this exercise incorrectly. 

 

PUSHUP FORM VIDEO

 

BENEFITS OF THE PUSHUP

  • It strengthens the shoulders, triceps, chest and core muscles

  • It teaches how to maintain a stable neutral shoulder position when done correctly 

  • Requires no equipment, yet can easily be scaled to challenge any person or any level

 

MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE PUSHUPS

  • Chest

  • Triceps

  • Anterior Deltoids

  • Upper Back

  • Core

  • Glutes

 

PERFORMING THE PUSHUP WITH GOOD TECHNIQUE

  • Squat down and place your knees on the floor 

  • Place your outstretched arms on the floor in front of you, setting your hands at your shoulder width

  • Brace your core and straighten your legs out behind you, so that your lower body is being supported on your toes

  • From this position, squeeze your glutes and maintain your core tight

  • Before you begin the movement, squeeze your scapula together and maintain this position

 
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  • Start the descent by tucking your elbows to a 45-degree angle to your body 
  • Lower yourself until your chest touches the floor

 
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  • Press back up until your elbows are locked out
  • Do not change your spinal position 

 

You can find Pushup Progressions and Regressions appropriate to your level in the video below 

 

THE ANATOMY OF A PROPER PUSHUP

 
 

 

Click on each blue circle to view the key technical aspects of this exercise

 

COMMON MISTAKES

LETTING YOUR SPINE SAG

Keep your glutes and your core tight throughout the movement. Keep your spine neutral and do not allow any change from this position.

 

FLARING YOUR ELBOWS

You should tuck your elbows to approximately a 45-degree angle. Flaring out your elbows (about 90-degrees) is inefficient and can cause shoulder strain

 

DOING HALF REPETITIONS

It is important to use your joints in their full range of motion. If you cannot touch your chest to the floor and complete the full rep; use a pushup regression.

 

CHALLENGE

Men: Perform 50 repetitions in 1 set

Women: Perform 30 repetitions in 1 set

 

PUSH-UP ALTERNATIVES


Alex & Brittany Robles are the founders of The White Coat Trainer, a site dedicated to improving the health and wellness of busy individuals. Learn more about them here and connect with them on instagram and Twitter. Feel free to send them a message here