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How To Do Push Ups With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "KC Clements, MS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_PUSH_UPS.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do Push Ups With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do Push Ups With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_PUSH_UPS.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>Chances are you’re familiar with pushups, a staple of gym classes and workout routines around the world. A simple and elegant full-body move, many of us rely on pushups to build chest and arm strength while improving core stability. Still, despite the pushup’s popularity, there are a lot of folks out there who don’t know how to do a pushup with proper form. This is a problem that keeps us from taking advantage of all of the pushup’s incredible benefits and even worse can lead to injury. That’s why we’re going to teach you how to do pushups with precision.</p> <p>To perform a pushup, come into a full plank position. Plant your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Come up onto your toes to create a straight line from your head to your feet. Bend your elbows to lower yourself down to the floor, then press through your hands to return to the plank position. The pushup is a full-body exercise, but you’ll really feel your triceps, shoulders, and pectoral muscles pumping during this exercise.</p> <p>For beginners, we recommend trying the kneeling pushup before moving on to the regular pushup. Simply prop yourself up on your bent knees rather than coming all the way up onto your toes. Do everything else exactly the same as a regular pushup. You can even start with the kneeling plank by just holding the starting pose for the kneeling pushup for a period of time. Both of these moves help you start building upper body strength so you can eventually take on the regular pushup. </p> <p>When you’re confident in your regular pushup, try the feet on couch pushup. Bring your feet up onto a couch or bench and place your hands on the ground underneath your shoulders. Follow all the same cues as a normal pushup. Because you’re in a decline position for this exercise, you target the upper chest muscles. You also get a tougher workout because this pose forces you to push more of your weight than a normal pushup.</p> <p>Now, let’s learn how to do an absolutely perfect pushup!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Come into a full plank position—propped up on your hands and toes—creating a straight line with your body from head to feet.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="push-ups-1"> </picture> <li>Bend your elbows to lower yourself as far as you can to the floor.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="push-ups-2"> </picture> <li>Press through your hands to lift your body back up to the starting position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="push-ups-3"> </picture> <li>Repeat until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Press the pads of your hands into the ground and grip the floor with your fingers throughout the pushup. This strengthens the hands and wrists, plus it activates the muscles along the sides of the body.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="push-ups-4"> </picture> <li>Squeeze your glutes and your quads hard to keep your legs active and your body in the proper alignment. You want to make sure that your butt doesn’t sag to the ground or point up toward the ceiling. Firing these muscles keeps you from doing that.</li> <li>Don’t let gravity do all the work as you drop to the ground. Instead, use your muscles to bring yourself down to the floor with control and continue to fire them as you press your body back up to the starting pose.</li> <li>Work your triceps, lats, and serratus by engaging the muscles as though you’re pulling your hands back toward your body and spiraling them outward without actually doing so. </li> <li>Avoid flaring your elbows you drop into the pushup. You can bring them close to your ribcage or as far out as a 45 degree angle. Just be careful—if you really flare them out you risk causing yourself discomfort and even injury.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/push-ups-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="push-ups-5"> </picture> <li>Inhale as you drop to the floor and exhale as you press back up.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>Pushups can be a very easy exercise. But if you challenge yourself and pay careful attention to your form, they are actually an incredibly difficult move. The more you’re willing to push yourself, the more you’re going to get out of your pushups.</p> <p>Of course, balance is key here. If you find that you can’t drop all the way to the ground while maintaining good form, then limit your range of motion. Only do what you can comfortably without falling out of alignment. Again, you can always start with the kneeling pushup or the kneeling plank to build up your upper body strength before taking on the regular pushup.</p> <p>Feet on couch pushups are the final move in your pushup progression and they are definitely worth the effort. Put enough time and persistent effort into perfecting your pushups and you’ll not only be able to do the feet on couch pushup, but you’ll also see amazing results for your upper body strength, your core stability, and so much more.</p> <p>You’ve got all the cues you need to do effective pushups, so why not start today? Add a few sets to your normal workout or try incorporating pushups into your daily routine by doing some repetitions while the commercials are on TV or as an energizing activity right when you wake up in the morning.</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-feet-on-couch-push-ups/">Feet On Couch Pushups</a>. If this exercise is too difficult, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-kneeling-push-up/">Kneeling Pushups</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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