Are You Doing Push-Ups Correctly?

Are You Doing Push-Ups Correctly?

Are You Doing Push-Ups CorrectlyThe push-up is THE quintessential whole body exercise. Push-ups require no equipment, can be done virtually anywhere, have dozens of variations, and are an excellent way to track fitness progress. That said, the majority of people are not getting the most out of this exercise. Why? Because most folks are cheating and may not even know it. Are you doing push-ups correctly? Learn about these 9 common push-up mistakes and how to avoid them. That way, you can make every rep count.

1. Butt Sticks Up in the Air

It is important to make sure your butt is down, and your body is in a high plank position. Lowering your butt will take strain off the shoulders, help to engage the core, and efficiently work the pectorals.

2. Straining Your Head Forward

Does your neck hurt while doing push-ups? Chances are you craning your head forward and straining your neck. It is important to keep your head, neck, and spine aligned while performing pushups. Here’s how to fix it. Gaze out on the floor at a point about a foot in front of your hands. While moving, lead with your chest, not your chin.

3. Swaying or Drooping Back

Performing push-ups with a swayed back not only hurts your low back but also puts undue stress on your shoulders. Your body needs to for a line from the crown of your skull to your heels. Lift your low back and tilt your pelvis forward slightly, hugging your inner thighs.

4. Improper Hand Placement

When learning proper push-up form, proper hand placement is crucial. The heel of your hand must be directly under your shoulders, and your hands placed shoulder distance apart. Once you have mastered this position, and have built strength, then, and only then, you can play around with hand positioning.

5. Quantity Over Quality

Doing 5-10 push-ups in perfect form will do the body better than pumping out 25 sloppy ones. Consider that if you engage your entire body throughout every rep, you will work every muscle to fatigue. Honestly, you may be surprised that when you perform the exercise correctly you may not be able to do more than 10!

6. Sticking Out Your Elbows

Not only is this inefficient form to work the pectorals and shoulders, but it could also injure your shoulders. Keep arms tucked into the body.

7. Holding Your Breath

Forgetting to breathe is a common mistake many people make when performing an exercise. However, it’s pretty hard to do anything well while holding your breath. So, don’t force it—just make sure you’re exhaling on the way up and inhaling on the way down like you would breathe naturally. No yoga-style exhales here.

8. Loose Legs

It is important to keep the entire body engaged, including the legs. It allows for more muscle recruitment and better alignment during a push-up. Lift the knees toward the ceiling and press your heels back. Lastly, flex your quadriceps ever so slightly.

9. Half Range of Motion

Only giving half the effort will not get you anywhere when doing push-ups. Too often folks skimp on the range of motion, either not going low enough, or coming to full extension. You will never build strength this way. Make sure to straighten arms completely after every rep. Additionally, lower the chest almost to the floor, creating a 90-degreee bend in the elbow.

So, are you doing push-ups correctly? What about your form for other exercises like squats and lunges? The trainers at The Fitness Studio believe in teaching our clients proper form. We take the time to ensure you’re performing every exercise as best as your can. That way, you will receive the maximum benefit from your training. Want to learn more? Contact us today for a consultation!