Everyone’s seen the push-up challenges that have been going around by now. We’re happy to see that it’s getting some people to do a bit of exercise together even though we’re all isolated at home right now! Push-ups are great for building upper body strength. Not just because you can do them anywhere at anytime without any preparation/equipment, but also because they are a multi-purpose exercise that works out your shoulders, triceps, and chest. They also help to strengthen your core and back. Done correctly, push-ups involve your entire body from head to toe. Additionally, once you’ve got the basic push-up down, there are a ton of variables you can do to target emphasis on specific muscle groups.
If you’re new to push-ups and haven’t built up the muscles to do proper push-ups yet, there are progression that you can do to get to where you want to be. Number one is starting them on your knees until you feel comfortable enough to do a full push-up. Don’t risk injuring yourself. If you work on it consistently, you’ll see progress before you know it.
Here are some tips for what you should keep in mind when doing a basic proper push-up:
- Hands should be shoulder-width apart with fingers facing forward (unless you have wrist issues, in which case, do wrist exercises because push-ups put a lot of pressure on your wrists).
- Your inner elbows should be rotated forward.
- Shoulders should be directly above your wrists, forming a vertical line from your wrists up.
- Keep elbows tucked when you lower your body.
- Head should be in a neutral position; chin shouldn’t be tucked in too much or too high. And try not to move your head as you go down.
- Legs should be straight, butt not too high and not sagging, back should be straight–basically form a nice straight line with your body from head to toe.
- Keep your lower body tight as you do a push-up. Your body should feel as if it’s one solid piece.
Push-ups are such a basic exercise that we learn them in gym class at school. But they don’t teach you about proper technique or form in gym class, so many people continue to do push-ups the wrong way. Honestly, I’d much rather someone learn how to do 10 proper push-ups than have them crank out 50 sloppy ones. The risk of hurting oneself is high and not even worth it in terms of gaining strength when they’re done wrong.
The push-up challenges that have been going around have been motivating or comforting for some–there’s a sense of “collectiveness” when we’re all doing these–and they’re just fun to do. But consider adding push-ups to your regular exercise routine for good. Push-ups may be basic, but if you can do them properly, they’re a really useful strength foundation to have.