How to do push-ups and common mistakes to avoid

Push-ups are a basic exercise for building strength and power. They work the muscles of the upper body, but not only because it is a complete exercise that engages all the other muscles as well. The push-ups can be varied endlessly to work the muscles to varying degrees. This bodyweight exercise can be done anywhere, all you need is a floor – it’s a basic calisthenics exercise with pull-ups, dips, and squats.

Basic Position and Technique for pushups

  • Place your hands on the floor so that they are a little more apart than shoulder-width apart, arms outstretched, and extend your legs behind you with feet together.
  • The fingers are spread with the index fingers pointing forward and the thumbs inward. If your wrists hurt, you can do push-ups on the fists (phalanges), the wrists will be locked.
  • The shoulders are above your hands, at the level of the knuckles to keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor, both in the high position and in the low position.
  • Your whole body is locked and sheathed, it forms a single line: head, blow, back, buttock, legs. You tighten your abs, buttocks, and legs. You are in a hand-plank position.
  • Point your elbows behind as you rotate your arms Without moving your hands off the floor, try rotating your hands outward, as if your thumbs are taking the place of your index fingers.
  • Bend your arms to bring your chin, chest, and hips to the floor at the same time.
  • Do not spread the elbows, they must be relatively close to the body at an angle of less than 45 ° (do not make a “T-shape” with the arms perpendicular to the body) Push on the arms while keeping your whole body locked up.
  • In the high position, arms outstretched and locked. Be careful not to be too explosive when reaching out so as not to injure yourself.
  • Keep the body trimmed throughout the movement.
  • Inhale on the flexion and exhale on the repulsion.

6 common mistakes to avoid

  • Do not lower your head: as if you were going to put your forehead between your two hands. Look at the ground about 1 meter in front of you, to keep your head in line with your body.
  • Do not arch your back: You should not start touching the floor with your hips or knees. The body forms a single line and you touch the ground with your chin, chest, and hips simultaneously.
  • Do not spread your elbows outwards: which brings up the shoulders and creates tension Elbows should stay close to the body at an angle of less than 45 °.
  • Do not take out or tuck in the buttocks: the whole body must be well aligned and straight, remember to shine the abdominals and buttocks. If you stick out your butt, your waist is too small to lock the body.
  • Do not complete the movement: many people do half-push-ups, that is, they bend their arms a little and do not go up to the top, the amplitude is only a few centimeters. You should touch the ground in the low position and extend your arms in the high position. Otherwise, you are not working to the fullest extent possible.
  • Do not shine the whole body: remember that pushups do not only work the pectorals and arms, but also shine your abdominals, your buttocks, and your legs and keep the body in a plank position.

4 exercises to get you to push up

If you can’t do a push-up, here is a quick program to help you get there.

1) vertical pumps or “wall pumps”

Facing the wall, feet together about 70 cm from the wall, place your palms flat against the wall (index finger up and thumbs inward) so that they are a little more apart than your shoulders, arms outstretched. Bend your elbows and brush your nose against the wall. Push back to the starting position. Practice keeping the head, back, and legs aligned and lock the body (abs and buttocks contracted) As soon as you manage to do the 3 sets of 40 reps with 1’30 minutes between sets, move on to the next exercise.

2) Incline push-ups Facing a bench or chair

place your hands on it, a little more apart than shoulder-width, arms and legs straight. Bend your elbows and touch the bench with your chest. Push back to the starting position. Keep the body aligned and lock it (abs and buttocks contracted) The greater the incline, the easier the push-ups will be (you can start with a table height for example); on the contrary, the lower the inclination (low object: bench, chair) the more difficult the push-ups will be and closer to full push-ups. You can also use the steps of a staircase and gradually descend them one by one to arrive at a very low slope (only one step height). As soon as you manage to do the 3 sets of 20 repetitions with 1’30 minutes between sets, go to the next exercise.

3) Knee push-ups No, these are not “girl push-ups”

knee push-ups are normal push-ups but easier because the weight supported by the arms is lower. Kneel on the floor, feet together, palms flat, a little wider than shoulder-width apart, arms outstretched, index fingers in front, and thumbs inside. Contract the abs and buttocks and keep the thighs, hips, back, and head in line. Do not stick out your buttocks with your body at 90 °! Bend your elbows and touch the floor with your chest. As soon as you can do all 3 sets of 20 reps with 1.30 minutes between sets, move on to the next exercise.

4) half-push-ups

These are push-ups that many people do while thinking of making them “real”: they are not done with full amplitude (arms outstretched, torso on the ground). Use an object about 8 inches high (ball or stack of books) and place it under your hips. Get into a push-up position and, while keeping your body erect and curvy, bend your elbows and brush the object with your hips.

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