PERFECT YOUR PUSH UP

PERFECT YOUR PUSH UP

Push ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises that you can perform. They will build strength and endurance in the upper body, as well as the core and legs.  

Being a bodyweight exercise, they need no equipment, and there are plenty of variations you can do to liven things up. 

So whether you want to fine- tune your technique or learn new variations, here is all you need to know to perfect your push up.

BASICS FIRST

First, learn how to do a proper push up well with these quick tips:

  • Tighten your core. Hold your abs in tightly before you start the exercise. This helps avoid injury and supports your back.
  • Elbows in. Keep your elbows close to your sides and under your shoulders. This will avoid injuries and bring your lats and triceps into the workout too.
  • Hands pointing out. Turning out your hands and opening your fingers helps avoid injuries by reducing strain on the wrists. More upper-back muscles are activated and lats and triceps tightened.
  • Keep your neck neutral. Straining your neck during push ups is a common mistake. Fix this by picking a spot on the floor to stare at a few feet away from you. Keep your neck relaxed as much as possible.

ADD VARIATIONS

When you feel confident with the basic push up, it’s time to move it up a level.

CORKSCREW PUSH UP

As well as your upper body, this move targets your quads, calves and core.

Get into standard push up position then walk feet towards hands until knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Twist at the waist and bring both knees around to point to the left.  Lower down into a push up. Hold, lift and repeat on the other side.

DIAMOND PUSH UP

Hold a standard push up position but bring hands together so index fingers touch each other and thumbs touch each other to form a diamond shape.

Widen feet to shoulder-width if you need more stability. Keep arms tucked in and lower down and up for one rep.

STABILITY BALL PUSH UPS

Doing push ups with an air-filled ball demands balance and core strength, benefiting triceps as well as shoulders and chest.

Lie with your stomach on the ball then walk yourself backwards until your chest rests on the ball. Hold either side of the ball with both hands.

Squeeze the ball, exhale, then push up to straighten the elbows. Inhale, and lower back down to starting position.

DECLINE PUSH UPS

These start with your toes on a higher level than your hands, meaning you actually push up even more of your own weight, making it more efficient.

Kneel on the floor with a bench behind the body. Place feet on the bench and extend your body in front of it into classic push up position. Lower to the ground and push back up.

DIVE BOMBER PUSH UPS

This challenging move will sculpt you from head to toe, while stretching your calves, hamstrings and lower back.

From classic push up position, walk feet in and raise hips so your body forms an inverted V shape. 

Lower your upper body towards the ground, then swoop chest forward and up, like you’re trying to squeeze under a fence. Reverse the motion, bringing hips back toward the ceiling. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

 


The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.

Comments

craig t.
12 December 2016

craig t.

Good to remember all these variations on push ups so you don't get bored. Saying that, I always end up doing the standard ones!

Roger B.
10 December 2016

Roger B.

neck strain is always a problem for my push-ups - so I will try the top tip in the article.

Emma C.
6 December 2016

Emma C.

I used to do that Sasha, but found that relaxing my neck while looking slightly ahead made the plank feel stronger. Don't think there's any particular rules though.

Sasha B.
4 December 2016

Sasha B.

I always look straight down when I'm doing push ups. Is this wrong?

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