No matter your athletic ability or your fitness level, doing push-ups is a must for everybody seeking to improve their fitness. Push-ups are an excellent exercise to boost strength and tone your entire body, provided they are done right.
Push-ups aren’t easy to do, especially when you are just starting out. If you have to do them on your knees or modify them to help you perfect your technique and form, don’t be afraid to do so.
Either way, push-ups should not be shied away from and it’s completely OK to take the time you need to improve your push-ups and learn how to do them correctly.
Rules to Perfect Your Push-Up
The following rules will be helpful to keep in mind as you work through your push-ups. Remember, exercises aren’t supposed to be easy and your muscles should be engaged the whole time.
Rule No. 1: Focus on quality
It’s how you do the push-up not how many push-ups you can do that matters. Performing push-ups with bad form will only put you at risk of getting injured and does nothing for your technique or strength. In order to do a push-up properly, you might be aware of your posture and your form before you take on the number of push-ups you can do.
Rule No. 2: Keep your hips low
It’s tempting to bring your hips high as you perform your push-up, however, this disengages the core and minimizes activity. You need to keep your back flat at all times and keep your abs engaged throughout the exercise in order to get your muscles working. Additionally, letting your hips move up will only add more stress on your shoulders.
Rule No. 3: Place your palms wider than shoulder-width
If you are at the beginner stage of doing push-ups try to stick to the basics and place your hands wider than shoulder-width distance apart keeping your thumbs and armpits in line with your elbows at a 45-degree angle from the sides.
Rule No. 4: Start from the bottom
Start your push-ups from the ground up in order to perform the exercise correctly. Your back should be flat and your core should be engaged to boost endurance as you exercise and build strength. Use your knees for support if you need to modify the exercise for your comfort.
Rule No. 5: Don’t drop your head down
Yes, you need to keep your head aligned with your body and maintain a neutral back and spine in order to avoid injury and maintain proper form. You can practice this by focusing on a neutral spot on the floor and stay focused on that spot until you finish your set.
If You Want to Amp Up Your Push-Ups
When you’re ready to challenge yourself further, you can add variations to your push-ups to make them more intense and target different muscles from a regular push-up.
- Perform push-ups with one leg raised in the air (can be done even if you are on your knees) to test your balance and add resistance.
- Place your hands closer or further away to target different muscle groups. A wider stand will work your chest and triceps while a closer stance will isolate your triceps.
- Add a burpee with your push-up for an added boost of cardio as you exercise.
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Angle, S. (2015, October 01). 8 Pushup Rules Every Woman Must Know. Retrieved from https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-ways-pump-your-pushups
Kayla Itsines. (2017, August 23). Rules For Push-Ups. Retrieved from https://www.kaylaitsines.com/blogs/education/rules-for-push-ups