Personal Training

Monday, August 16, 2010

How to do a proper Push Up

Push ups are one of the those exercises that you either love or hate. However push ups are one of those exercises that everyone should do.

Push ups can help you build upper body strength, they help improve shoulder functioning, they tone and shape your arms (especially the triceps) and are a great core builder.

Even better push ups are one of those exercises you can do anywhere and require no gym and no equipment. I have to say they are one of my favorite exercises along with Pullups, Squats, Lunges, Dips and Planks.... (I'll be writing about these in future articles).

To do a push up is quite simple - get in the proper push up position lower you body and push back!!! However not because it sounds simple makes them easy to perform and like any other type of exercise these too require proper technique, which most of the time folks tend to get wrong.

The technique: 
  • Assume the push up starting position (prone position) with your feet together, palms on the floor (at approx. shoulder width apart), arms extended and elbows locked. 
  • Keep a straight line from your ankles, legs, hips, back, shoulders and your head.
  • Lower your body bending at the elbows till your chest almost touches the floor. 
  • Push back up against the floor without bending your back.
Push Up Starting Position:

Push Up Lower Position:

There many ways to vary the classic push up position. For starters if you lack the upper body strength and mechanism to perform it like this, you can drop into your knees and do the push up following the same guidelines. 

Other Push Up variations:
Wide grip stance: you will place your arms slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Close grip stance: place your arms in a narrower shoulder width apart stance. As you lower yourself, keep your elbows tucked in close to the body. This shifts the workload to your triceps. 

Iso-Push Up: perform a regular push up but hold it at the bottom position for a few seconds... its a killer!!! And its actually pretty good for those who lack the upper strength as it helps them build it quickly.

1 Leg Push Up, Incline or Decline push ups, Spider push ups, Crab push up, 1 arm push up, depth push ups... 

The list goes on and some of these are pretty advance so make sure you have the proper technique, shoulder stability and are injury free. Also and consult a professional to guide you through some of these.

Example of a modified 1 arm knee down push up:

Advance: 1 arm spider push up...

When you practice and perform push ups just keep in mind that you must avoid looking forward, bending your back and bring your butt in the air. All of it bad form and can negate the benefits of the exercise, not mention in some instances could lead to injury. 

For more tips on exercise, cardio, nutrition and/or proper training programs contact me here

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