The push-up is one of the most simple, yet effective upper-body and core exercises. It activates multiple muscles, including the deltoids, pectoral muscles, triceps, core muscles, and glutes. With one compound movement, individuals are able to exercise multiple muscle groups. To gain the maximum results, it is imperative to perform this exercise with proper form.
How to Perform a Push-Up
Step 1: Start by placing your hands underneath your shoulders. Your legs should extend straight out behind you, so that the balls of your feet are on the ground.
* If you don’t quite have the strength to perform a full push-up that’s okay! Modifying an exercise is a great way to build up your strength so you can one day perform a full push up.
To modify this exercise, you can drop your knees down to the ground so you’re in a kneeling position.
Step 2: Keep your core tight and your butt squeezed as you lower your body down until your chest touches the ground.
Step 3: Keep your body in a straight line as you push away from the floor and bring your body back up to the starting position.
While the push-up is a fairly simple movement, there are a few common mistakes to avoid.
Piking: A common mistake in the push-up is raising your butt above your body into a pike position. While this takes some pressure out of your core, you’re not going to get the total benefit of your push-up. When you raise your butt up into the air, you place more pressure on your shoulders.
Dropping Your Stomach: An additional mistake when performing a push-up is dropping your stomach. Keep your stomach tight and your core engaged while performing a push-up in order to protect your lower back.
Not touching the ground: For maximum results, perform the push-up to its full range of motion by lowering yourself all the way to the ground and returning back up to the starting position.