How to Do Really Good Pushups
Pushups are very basic exercise that require no equipment. They work your arms, chest and back. Here are some tips that will help you do them well.
Put your hands on the ground directly below your shoulders. Turn your hands out slightly. Your elbows should be at a 45˚ angle to your body.
Straighten your body behind you. Keep your feet as close together as possible, and always keep your hips low. Imagine that your body is a board. Tightening your abs and glutes will help you keep proper form. If you are struggling or unable to do more than one or two push-ups this way, try one of the following to build strength:
- Knee Push-ups: Follow the instructions above, but keep both knees on the floor. Be sure to use your chest, shoulders, and triceps to lift yourself, not your hips or back.
- Push-up Position: Follow the instructions above, but rather than going up and down, hold yourself in the starting position. Aim to be able to hold this for at one minute.
- Bridge: This is the same as the push-up position, but instead of using your hands to hold yourself up, use your forearms. Place them on the ground, shoulder width apart.
Tuck your head in. To keep your spine in a straight line, the pushup should be led with your chest, not your head. You should also avoid looking up.
Create a routine. Do 10 pushups and then take a 15 second rest time. Repeat. Increase the number of pushups (and with them, your rest time) as you get better at them. Do your routine every other day to allow your muscles to rest.
- When you can get to 30 and do them with ease, try diamond push ups. Center your hands below your chest so there is a diamond pattern between your hands. These strengthen in particular your triceps, and pecs. There are much more challenging than normal pushups.
Remember that push ups should be done with proper form every time. If you find you can’t do as many push ups as you planned without breaking form, you should lower your number, as improper form can lead to back and shoulder injury.