Oh, the popular exercise that we see often - the push-up! We know all about them, but do they always look pretty? The push-up is a super effective movement - it is a total-body functional move that’s great for increasing strength throughout your chest, arms and back with the added benefits of core work and lower body (thank you, gravity!). Another beautiful thing about the push-ups is that it can be done just about anywhere! (haha, no excuses not to fit them in!). To make sure you are performing your push-ups properly, I show you a correct and incorrect push-up here, and explain step-by-step how to perform the correct one.
Get into a high plank position with hands planted directly under your shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width apart). Engage abs and back so body is neutral, and ground your toes into the floor to stabilize your bottom half.
Begin to lower the body, inhaling on the way down until the chest nearly touches the floor, keeping back flat, eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral spine. Draw your shoulder blades back and down while you keep your elbows tucked close to the body, approximately a 45-degree angle at the bottom.
Keep core engaged, to protect lower back, and exhale as you push back to the start position. That’s ONE! Repeat for 10 - 20 reps or as many that can be performed with good form.
With every exercise there are always modifications. With push-ups in particular, (and their challenging nature), the endurance in the muscles used may feel more difficult than other movements and we want to keep the integrity of the exercise so…We can perform an “Assisted / Bent Knee Push-Up.” These push-ups are performed on your knees, same rules apply as the regular push-up. This modification is great for beginners to nail down the form, with knees helping to stabilize the body rather than the feet. Also, the assisted push-up can be performed if you are trying to build your reps or if you are in a class and start to feel fatigued. It’s always more important to perform an exercise perfectly rather than pushing through with incorrect form.
Keep in mind, if you have been performing push-ups but not quite the correct way, the correct way may feel a tad more challenging...Don’t you worry - performing five PERFECT push-ups is way more important and beneficial than performing 20 incorrect ones!
Leave questions / comments below!
XX, Heather Little Miss KIA