8 Tips to Have a Proper Push up Form

16th June 2019
Push-ups are one of the basic and most common exercises in any training routine. However, the correct push-up form is something a lot of people don't know about.

Push-ups are a basic exercise. All you have to do is bend and stretch your arms continuously, lifting up your own body weight. Since the push-up has always been very popular, even from school age, it’s an important part of many people’s training routine. Broadly speaking, the name push-up references the upper core muscles. But even though it’s a very simple and common exercise, having the right form when doing a push-up is not as easy as it may seem.

Our body is a structure that requires proper attention in order to work correctly. If we want to have a trained and healthy body, we must perform every single movement in the right way. In that sense, it’s essential to have the knowledge and to apply it properly in our training techniques.

Why are push-ups so popular?

The reason why many people enjoy doing push-ups is that they bring many benefits to our quality of life. However, being in a hurry or not having enough knowledge can cause us to make costly mistakes. To prevent any complications, we’ll take a look at some tips to have a proper push-up form.

Keep your breathing under control

The greater the effort we’re making, the more oxygen our body needs. Our brain is the most demanding oxygen consumer. Not breathing correctly when we’re doing any type of exercise can do more harm than good.

Maintaining a good breathing pace allows our more active muscles to get enough oxygen. This is the case for our upper body muscles and joints.

When performing a push-up, the techniques we use to breathe in or out are very similar to the ones that swimmers use. It looks something like this: inhale when you go down, exhale when you go up. Likewise, the position of our head is very important. It should be in a straight line with our spine, and we shouldn’t feel any pressure. You should never touch your chest with your chin or lift your chin up.

Your breathing should be superficial. The most important thing is to provide your upper chest with as much oxygen as possible. There’s no need to worry about filling up your diaphragm with air. This is the opposite of what happens when doing heavy lifting exercises or activities like singing.

Warming up and stretching for a proper push-up form

Despite push-ups being a simple exercise, you must still adapt them to your age, weight, and experience. This is just as important as doing a warm-up and stretching routine before each work out session.

A woman doing a push-up with proper form

It’s an essential aspect to prevent contractures, sprains, and even fractures. The warm-up and stretching routine consists of fast and easy movements.

Strengthen your muscular and skeletal structure for a good push-up form

When you train your upper body there are several muscles involved; these are some of them: triceps brachii, pectoral major, serratus anterior, posterior deltoid. Getting to know these muscles is just as important as performing a push-up in the correct form.

The secret is to keep your body as straight as possible. You also have to make sure that the tension is focused on your abs.

Hand position: another aspect to have in mind

Your hands should be aligned with your shoulders, and your palms should be stretched out. Keep your fingers wide open, pointing outwards and in a straight line, especially your middle finger. By doing this you’ll have more stable support.

Straight back

Your torso should be straight at all times, similarly to the plank position. Your legs should also be straight, with a very small space between your feet. This technique facilitates the bracing maneuver, which consists of activating your glutes and the whole abdominal and spine area.

Diet: a determining factor for the proper push-up form

A person who exercises regularly has a different energy requirement to that of someone who has a sedentary lifestyle. Sleeping enough hours and having a balanced diet are both important elements you need if you want to have a successful workout routine.

Always stable

To have the proper push-up form it’s essential to keep a stable pelvis and lumbar vertebrae. Your elbows must be at a reasonable distance from your torso. On the other hand, twisting your shoulders inwards can help prevent injuries in your rotator cuff.

Also, it’s a good idea to protect your shoulder blades. If you don’t have enough control over your body, you can do this by leaning forward slightly.

A trainer helping a woman to have the right push-up form

Ask a trainer for help?

Once you’ve made the decision to work out, you can totally benefit from the help of an experienced trainer with the knowledge to guide you through the training process. That type of guidance can help to prevent accidents or at least diminish the negative consequences in case something bad happened.

Push-ups definitely promote the dynamic part of the body and they’re inherent to all exercises. Add them to your routine if you still haven’t done so and boost the strength of your upper body with these excellent tips.