Getting started with Push-ups: 5 Tips for Improvement

Push-ups are one of the most commonly performed exercise routines. In order for them to be effective, we need to learn how to perform them correctly.
Getting started with Push-ups: 5 Tips for Improvement

Last update: 26 June, 2019

Push-ups can be found in many cardio and bodybuilding routines, however, many people don’t know how to perform them properly. In the following article, we will share some tips on how to improve your push-ups.

Push-ups: typical mistakes

Push-ups are more than a complete exercise, and they don’t require any special equipment. They can help to work out many muscle groups including the deltoids, pectorals, triceps, and abdominals. They can also help to improve strength and endurance.

You have probably seen men and women performing push-ups at the gym. They’re part of many bodybuilding routines and they’re also an effective way to lose weight. The main mistakes when performing this exercise are as follows:

Not warming up

It’s very important to warm up both your wrist and arms before starting to perform push-ups. It’s therefore recommended that this exercise should be done during the middle or end of your workout session.

Not using your hands well

Of course, to perform push-ups, you need to use your hands, however, it’s also important to know how to position your hands properly. Separating your fingers will help you improve stabilityMake sure your arms align with your shoulders.

Making your hips touch the floor

It’s often thought that hips touching the floor enhances the exercise, the truth is that it prevents the shoulders and arms from completing the exercise. Push-ups should workout the upper extremities, not the rest of the body.

Man doing push-ups

Going too fast

It’s not about doing a thousand push-ups in five minutes, it’s about performing three, in 60 seconds. By taking your time, you’ll be able to pay attention to your technique. Focus on the movements, since it’s better to complete fewer repetitions that are well done.


If you’ve never done push-ups on the floor before, or if you would like to improve your performance, pay attention to the following tips:

Learn the technique

A trainer will be able to show you the best way to do the exercise by providing an example. Basically, you should place yourself face down on the floor, support yourself with your toes and the palms of your hands. You arms should be open to the width of your shoulders.

Then, bend your elbows in order to lower your body. Your head should be between your shoulders and it should descend as close to the floor as possible. Beginners can choose to support themselves with their knees to make the exercise a bit easier.

Remember that pelvic and lumbar stability are key when it comes to performing proper push-ups.

Align your body when doing push-ups

Your body should be straight at all times. It should also be parallel to the ground. One of the most common mistakes is to arch the back. This can result in both cervical and lumbar pain.

Always look ahead

Looking at the abdomen when performing this exercise can increase the risk of suffering from neck cramps. It’s important to always look straight ahead.

Girl doing push-ups

Pay attention to your arms

They’re the ones that put the most effort into push-ups. Therefore, it’s important to place them in the correct position. Your hands should be pointing outwards slightly and your elbows should point backward when you’re lowering your torso to the ground.

Your shoulders should rotate inwards during the exercise.

Push-ups are without a doubt one of the most complete exercises, it should always be a part of your routine at the gym. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting to work out of if you’ve been doing so for a long time, it’s important to perform push-ups with the proper technique.

This will help you increase the benefits of the exercise. It’ll also bring you closer to achieving your goals. Having the proper technique will prevent you from suffering from injuries.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.