Breaking down the Push-up

The push-up is a great exercise and one of my most favorite because you can do them anywhere, whether you’re at home, at the gym, at a park or on vacation. Also push-ups are great because you can workout a lot of different muscles with just one exercise and no equipment is needed. However, push-ups are easy to mess up especially when you are trying to do a lot of them. I broke down the push-up into 3 easy steps to make sure you always do a perfect push-up. 

Step 1 - Starting position

Start with you hands on the floor with you hands inline with the outside of your shoulders. Straighten out your legs so that your body creates a straight line from your shoulder to your ankles. Then, shift your weight forward so that your shoulders are directly over yours hands. Draw your belly button into your spine in order brace your core, and squeeze your quads and gluts.

Step 2 - Action

Keep your weight shifted forward and lower yourself down towards the floor until you go beyond a 90 degree angle at your elbow. I call this braking 90. It is important to get a full range of motion in your chest and shoulders in order to maximize your strength and muscle development.

Keeping your weight forward is important because when your shoulders stay behind your hands then you end up using your shoulder as the primary muscle and not your chest. This is common in beginners because usually you can do more push-ups with your shoulders at first, but in the long run, you will be able to do more with your chest because it has a bigger surface area and can be developed into a bigger, stronger muscle. Also, keeping your weight forward engages your lats. You know you did your push-ups correctly when your chest AND your lats are sore after and you didn’t do any back exercises that day. 

Step 3 - Finish

Once you have lowered yourself down and brake 90, then push your hands through the floor and bring your body up as one unit. Meaning, you maintain that straight line from shoulder to ankle, all the way through the movement. The most common mistake I see is when people get tired, their hips raise up first and go above their shoulders. This is the way our body wants to compensate as our muscles fatigue. Resist that urge to brake form. Be okay with getting stuck and failing. If you go to failure you will improve. If you let yourself off the hook when it gets difficult then you will you get stuck and have a harder time improving. 

Having questions? Or do you need someone to hold you accountable and push you? Make an appointment with Jason to get the most out of workouts.