Tips for How to Do Pushups Correctly
They say “no pain, no gain,” but that’s not entirely true; if you’re using the wrong technique, not only will you feel unnecessary pain that could temporarily or permanently damage your body, but you also won’t achieve the results you desire. Without knowing how to perform the correct form of every exercise, you could easily hurt yourself, develop your muscles unevenly, and worse.
It is with this in mind that we’ve provided an outline of how to do push-ups correctly. Read on to learn more!
The Proper Way to Do Push-Ups
Push-ups may seem simple enough, but a lot of people make common, tiny mistakes that build up and prevent them from getting the most out of their workout. This includes using only a partial range of their motion, trying to speed through their push-ups, pushing out their elbows to the side, or moving their head, neck, hips, or torso during the exercise. The key to learning how to do push-ups correctly is that it should really only be your arms doing the work; all other body parts should be stiff and in plank position, where everything in your body is basically lined up in a single straight line.
One way to practice proper technique is to start by doing “air” push-ups. Standing up straight, extend your arms in front of you. The tops of your palms should be in-line with the top of your shoulder, and you’ll notice that your elbows stay close to your sides. Many make the mistake of letting their elbows flare out instead of keeping them closer to the body. Maintaining this hand and arm alignment, pull back your hands toward your chest, then push your hands back out to their previous position.
At this point, you are performing a perfectly formed push-up, but you’re still standing. Bring your push-up to the floor, executing the same form as you’ve just practiced. When lowering yourself, breathe in through your nose. When you rise up, breathe out through your mouth. It should take you two seconds to lower yourself and one second to push up.
People often let their back arch too much when doing push-ups. To combat this, squeeze your glute muscles and pull your rib cage downwards to flatten your lower back.
Another common misstep exercisers make when doing push-ups is to let their shoulders drift up toward their ears. You can prevent this from happening by imagining that you are pulling the floor toward you while lowering yourself and twisting your hands outward.
Also, if your shoulders begin to round forward while you descend, make your push-ups end right before that point. Over time, you should develop more flexible shoulders that will allow you to nearly touch the floor with your chest.
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