The push up – such a simple movement with tremendous benefits. Yet everywhere I look and almost all my new clients can not perform a proper push up.
Push Up Step #1 – Body Tight and Rigid
A proper push up with full range of motion begins with your body tight and rigid. I should be able to draw a straight line from the ankle that intersects the hip and shoulder and ends at the ear. Your arms extended and elbows should be locked out. Your shoulder blades should be protracted.
Surprisingly, many can’t hold this position for any length of time. Needless to say that if you can’t even hold this position for long then you won’t be able to do a proper push up for long.
Push Up Step #2 – Hand Position
Hands should be directly below the shoulders. This allows the arms to bend at approximately 45 degrees from your body which is easiest on the shoulders. If you’re a beginner and lack upper body and triceps strength then placing the hands wider would be easier. But remember to keep the shoulder blades protracted. Wider hands usually results in a saggy back because there’s a lack of strength there as well.
Push Up Step #3 – Head in Neutral Alignment
This is a biggie. Your head should be lined up with your body in the same way it would be if you were standing up. Most people do their push ups looking like they’re bobbing for apples. The next time you decide to do push ups, get yourself into position and when you’re in the bottom position, stop and analyze your head alignment. If you think your head would be in that position while upright then you’re probably ok. If you think you’d look like a dork, then correct yourself.
Push Up Step #4 – Maintain Your Rigidity
Now maintain your body’s rigid, tight form and lower yourself till your chest lightly touches the floor. Keep your hips and thighs off the floor. Then push back up to elbows locked out position.
Congratulations, you now know how to do a proper push up. But can and/or will you?
I hope you don’t decide to ignor this post and continue doing the same old sloppy, lazy, incomplete range of motion push ups.
Think about it this way. Would you perform bench presses by only lowering the bar half way down (board presses excluded)?