Push-ups are among the most effective strength exercises that work your entire body. They use your own body weight as resistance to strengthen the muscles of the chest, shoulders, back of the arms, abdomen, core, and legs.
Push-ups are also beneficial for your heart. Working multiple groups of muscles at the same time stimulates the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood and deliver it to the muscles.
You may think it’s challenging, but once you know how to do a push-up correctly, you’ll find out that it’s a just myth.
In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to doing push-ups to complement your workout routine.
How To Do a Push Up in 4 Easy Steps
Doing the push-up with the proper form is vital for getting the best results.
Step 1: Get in the Right Starting Position
Kneel on a soft exercise mat or the floor. Make sure that your body parts are positioned correctly.
Bring your feet together behind you and curl your toes forward.
Arms and Hands
Position your hands flat on the mat, angled to point forward. To reduce the pressure on your wrists and to feel more stable, spread your fingers apart.
Place your hands right under your shoulders. For both arms and chest workout, you may want to set your hands apart a little more than your shoulders’ width.
You can spread them much wider to work more on the chest muscles and less on the arms. If you want more arm strength, put your hands closer together forming the shape of a diamond.
Avoid spreading your arms too far from your body. The shape of the body and arms should resemble the shape of an arrow, not the letter T.
The right position for your head is to look slightly ahead. Keep it in line with your body and try not to look down. To get the right push-up form, your chin should touch the floor first, not your nose.
Keep your abs tightened, your core engaged, and your back flat. Don’t arch your back or let your hip drop. Your whole body should remain in a flat position looking like a straight line.
Step 2: Lower Your Body
Inhale and lower your body slowly until your elbows form a 90-degree angle with your hands and shoulders or until your chest barely touches the floor.
Some fitness trainers suggest lowering your body until your elbows are in line with your shoulders to fully benefit from the exercise. Keep your back flat and abs clenched.
Step 3: Lift Your Body
Exhale and push the floor away. You can do that by extending your elbows and pushing your body back up to the starting position.
Step 4: Repeat
Start with a set of ten to fifteen push-ups. Rest and do another set. If that seems too difficult, you can do 5 push-ups at first.
First, you should focus on the correct form. After mastering doing the push-up in the right form, you can increase the number of sets.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Push-Ups
If you think that you can’t carry your body weight, you may be tempted to make some mistakes while doing a push-up.
Try to avoid these mistakes to get the best results:
- Don’t elevate your shoulders and try to keep them relaxed. They should be down and away from the ears.
- Don’t push your hip upwards to get the benefits of the work in your core.
- Don’t arch your lower back and make sure your core is engaged.
Beginner Push-Up Variations
For some beginners, it may be difficult to carry their body weight. You can start by doing an easier modified type of this exercise until you can eventually reach the regular push-up form.
Depending on the difficulty level you want to go for, you can choose wall, knee, or elevated push-ups. These variations will allow you to get to know your body weight distribution. They’ll help you gradually build up the strength needed to carry this weight and get the benefits of standard push-ups.
Wall push-ups don’t put as much pressure on your joints as standard push-ups.
With your hands on the wall, move back until your arms are fully extended. Your hands should be set a little wider than your shoulders’ width. Your body should form a straight line.
Lower your upper body until you almost touch the wall with your nose. Then, go back to the starting position.
Knee push-ups take some of the weight off of your body. They’re similar to standard push-ups. Instead of placing your weight on your feet, try balancing yourself on your knees.
Another way to make push-ups easy is to use an elevated surface. Place your hands on a stable surface. Walk back until your arms form a 90-degree angle with your body and your legs are straight. Lower your body until your chest reaches the surface. Next, go back to the starting position and repeat.
Advanced Push-Up Variations
Once you get the hang of standard push-ups, you can experiment with more advanced variations. Challenging push-ups target specific muscle groups.
For example, decline push-ups work the shoulders and triceps more than standard push-ups. Superman push-ups work on the posterior muscles of the body.
In a Nutshell
Push-ups can be an excellent addition to your workout routine. They enhance the strength, stamina, and endurance of your whole body.
Push-ups may seem challenging at first, but they’re not, once you know how to perform them correctly. Just don’t give up and remember that taking baby steps and consistency are key to taking on any difficult task.