One underrated exercise that is a must in everyone’s routine is the push up. Push Ups don’t just strengthen the pectorals; they build up endurance, work wonders on the triceps, strengthen back and shoulder muscles, and strengthen your core. All you need is your own body weight and good form.
Here are a 5 easy tips on executing the perfect pushup.
Tip #1: One of the most important things in executing a good push up is keeping a straight line. You want your head to keep a straight line with your neck and torso. Avoid dropping the head to make the push up easier. It is counter productive doing a pushup with bad form so if you can’t keep a straight line yet, start with doing them on your knees and build up the chest and arm muscles until you can hold yourself up.
Tip #2: Keep your shoulders back away from your ears. Most people with weak chest muscles will tuck their shoulders in toward their ears to try and make the exercise easier which ends up putting pressure on their triceps. What you want to do is have your shoulders back in a good line with your neck and back. This will put more emphasis on the chest muscles which will give you a more efficient and effective workout.
Tip #3: Place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and down by the center of your chest, not up above in front of your shoulders. Your hands shouldn’t be in line with your head or shoulders they should be in line with the center of your chest. This will take pressure away from the shoulders and rely more on the chest muscles to do the work. It will help avoid injuries and give your a better chest workout.
Tip #4: Don’t drop or raise the hips! Your hips and torso should stay straight and the abs should be engaged. This way your entire core gets a workout. Once again, if you can’t keep your hips and torso in line, start by doing push ups on your knees until you can do them with perfect form.
Tip #5: Get a full range of motion with a controlled tempo. Go all the way down until you are barely over the ground so you can get a good stretch in your chest muscles. The rule of thumb for timing is 1 second up and 2 seconds down. Control the tempo to dramatically increase muscle stimulation and reduce your risks for injury.