Get Fit__ How To Do The Perfect Push-Up
August 06, 2015 | By Emily Keifline
Forget modified push-ups, you’re strong enough for the real deal. But if you’re not using proper form, you’re basically wasting your time. Here’s how to do the perfect push-up.
How To Do It
- Start in high plank position
- Put your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and ground your toes to the floor to stabilize the lower half of your body. Tighten your abs, engage your glutes and hammies and make sure your back is flat and your body is in a straight line.
- Lower your body
- Keep your back flat and focus on a point a few feet in front of you to keep your body neutral, then lower yourself to the floor until your chest grazes the ground. Your body should stay in a straight line – don’t let your butt dip or stick out. Keep your elbows tucked in and your shoulder blades back and down.
- Push yourself up
- Keep your core engaged and exhale as you push your body back up into a high plank. That’s one rep!
- The Mistake: Letting Your Lower Back Sag Or Arch
- The Fix: Focus on tightening your legs and glutes and press your chest to the ground before your hips. Keep your hips aligned with your shoulders.
- The Mistake: Holding Your Breath
- The Fix: Focus on inhaling on the way down and exhaling every time you come up.
- The Mistake: Flaring Your Arms
- The Fix: Letting your arms pop out can be really bad for your shoulders, so make sure you’re keeping them tucked closer to your sides – about a 20- to 40-degree angle to your torso.
- The Mistake: Cheating Yourself
- The Fix: It’s better to do five push-ups with good form than 20 with bad form. Make sure you’re getting a full range of motion with each rep so you’ll be targeting all the right muscles.
- The Mistake: Straining Your Neck
- The Fix: If you find yourself having neck pain while you’re doing push-ups, then you’re probably not holding your neck in a neutral position. To fix this, pick a point on the floor a few feet in front of you and stare at it.