How to do a proper push up

For me, push ups are of the three most important bodyweight exercises (along with pull ups and squats).

The advantage of push ups is that you are able to do them everywhere, you just need a floor.

Doing push ups you will exercise your pectorals and triceps mainly, and to a lesser extent the deltoids (shoulders), forearms and abs.

The wider you position your hands, the more implicated the pecs will be. And the narrower their separation, the more you will use your triceps.

And here are the things to keep in mind to do a perfect push up:


1. Straight line head-neck and torso-legs

No looking forward or pushing the ass upward. Your body should form a straight line and maintain it making use of the abs (as shown in the picture).

If you are unable to keep this position, start doing push ups supporting on your knees until you gain enough strength.

2. Keep your shoulders back

This advice applies to all the exercises. Always keep your shoulders back as if you were trying to hold a pencil between your shoulder blades.

This way you work your chest harder and better.

3. Hands behind the plane of the shoulders and a bit wider

To benefit equally pecs, triceps and deltoids, your hands should be at a slightly wider position than your shoulders and behind them.

Bodyweight training push up

4. Apply the pressure on the outside of your hand

The outside is the strongest area of your hand so you should use it to avoid injuries in other parts of the hand or the wrist.

5. Make the full range ofmotion

Going down until your chest touches slightly the floor and up just before locking the elbows (don’t lock them).

6. Controlling the tempo

As with all exercises, the negative phase (when going down) should be slower than the positive one (when going up). Try for example 2 seconds of negative and 1 of positive. This will make the exercise more effective and avoid injuries.

If you follow all these tips you will do less push ups than usually but don’t worry, this is not a competition. The fewer you do the better, because it would mean that you are demanding more from your muscles. Besides this, you will avoid knots and injuries.

I hope this was helpful and you start applying them.

This post was written more than 6 months ago, maybe things have changed or I don't think the same way anymore