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Proper Push-Up Form

Hey, it’s Jennifer, I often get asked what an actual correct push-up should look like. And it’s a great question, because there’s tons of variations out there. How do you know what’s good information and what’s not so good information?

So there are lots of variations for how to do push ups depending on which muscles, you want to bias a little bit more than others. I’m going to show you one correct way to do just a standard push up. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other good ways to do it, but here’s one basic way to get you started.

The first question people ask is how do they put their hands.  So, it seems logical that your hands would just point straight forward, except when you bend your arms, your elbows are going straight back towards your body, which is really hard works those triceps. It’s called triceps push up and they really emphasize that style in CrossFit and stuff like that. It’s a fine way to do push-ups, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

So if you turn your hands in just a little bit, when you bend your elbows, you’re going to have your arms not pinned down to your side. We don’t want your hands to be all the way in so your elbows are going like super wide. You want more of a 30 to 45 degree angle away from your torso. So that’s thing number one.

Thing number two is: how far in front of your shoulders or behind your shoulder and should your hands go? Try to stack them right under your shoulders. You want a vertical line from your shoulders to your wrists.

So then the last thing I want to talk about is: what should touch the ground when you go down? Again, there’s lots of different things that people like to do. Some people have heard about touching their chin, some people have heard to touch their nose. I find that if you’re touching something on your head, you have a tendency to drop your head down, because you don’t want to go down as far. So you end up straining to get that down first. 

I like to tell people to touch their chest to the ground. That does run into the risk of you arching down at the bottom of the push-up rather than being in a straight line. So you just have to be careful that you’re staying in this nice, flat, plank position as you go, and not worming your way or collapsing your way down.

So those are three things that I would look for. 1. Hands right under your shoulders 2. Hands turned in just slightly so that your elbows go out slightly from your body on your push-up 3. Touching your chest to the ground, but keeping your body flat like a board.

Hopefully that was helpful to those of you who have that question and give it a try. If it doesn’t feel good, shoot us a message and we’ll give you some other options. Thanks!

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