How to perform a Push Up
Lie prone on the ground with hands placed as wide or slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping the body straight, lower body to the ground by bending arms at the elbows. Raise body up off the ground by extending the arms. Repeat.
Body weight should be lifted by the arms; don’t be tempted to use your butt, stomach or the lower half of your body to pull yourself up. To maintain correct body alignment, imagine a straight line running from your head down to your ankles.
Video: Push Up
Muscles Targeted: Triceps, Shoulders, Chest, Abdominal and Core Muscles.
Points to Note
Like any other exercise, watch your form.A wrong pushup can injure your shoulders. Keep your back straight. Exhale while pushing up and Inhale while going down.
Push Up Variations
• “Knee” push ups – to reduce the lifting load by about 50% you can do the same exercise, but do it on your knees. Keeping a straight line from neck to torso is still important, so please pay attention to correct body alignment as you perform your workout.
• “Knuckle” push ups – don’t worry, these are not just for the hard-core push up folks. Some people experience wrist discomfort as they perform “good-form” push ups, but by closing your hands and making a fist, your body weight ends up on your knuckles instead of your palms, thus avoiding the wrist extension motion. Note: Please be sure to do this type of push up on a padded mat, plush carpet or even better a rolled up towel.
• “Bench” push ups – you can also use a low bench or chair to support your arms while you perform either regular push ups or “knee” push ups. This type of push up allows you to really concentrate on the push up motion; all without the strain of the regular version. Note: Please be sure the bench or chair is stable and secure before you perform the push ups.
• “Wall” push ups – if all the above options are still too challenging, one final variation exists. The “wall” push up dramatically reduces the pressure on the arms, upper back and abs. The closer you stand to the wall, the easier they are to perform, but remember, it’s still important to be aware of your body alignment as you perform the “wall” push up. As you gain strength and confidence, move your feet slightly further away from the wall to make the workout more challenging. Feel free to consider moving to the “bench” or “knee” style push ups once your initial strength has increased.