Perfect Your Push-Ups

Posted by in FitTip, Health Tips

First introduced in elementary gym class, the push-up is one of the most butchered exercises in the fitness industry. Incorrect form can stress your rotator cuff muscles, neck, and low back…

Elementary Push-Ups

Elementary Push-Ups

…but when performed correctly, the push-up can be a great foundation exercise for any age and any fitness level! The movement targets the pecs (chest), triceps (back of upper arm) and deltoids (shoulders):

Push-Up anatomy

Push-Up anatomy

I’m going to break it down muscle-by-muscle and joint-by-joint:

Three (3) quick tips before we get started:

  1. Think of a push-up as a moving plank.
  2. Upon execution of any exercise you should feel it in the muscles targeted with little to no joint stress (shoulders & elbows).
  3. Don’t be a hero, focus on form…quality over quantity.

Pre-movement prep:

  • Position hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Position feet hip width apart.
  • Draw abs in and keep your hips in a straight line between your shoulders and heels.
Perfect Pushup

Perfect Pushup

The first move is very important and can make or break your entire movement, so follow this list one step at a time:

  1. Bend at the elbows without collapsing at your shoulder blades.
  2. Keep your abs drawn in.
  3. Head neutral, eyes directed just above the hands.
  4. Lead the movement with your chest, not your forehead.
  5. Lower your body down until your elbows are at 90 degree angle.
  6. Pause and push back up to the starting position.
  7. Tempo: 2-second lower, 1-second pause, 2-second return.
Pushup form

Pushup form


If the movement is too challenging on the floor move to the steps instead of dropping to your knees. Start on the 4th step, eyes on the 5th step. As you get stronger you can lower one step at a time while maintain the full plank position, thus training your abs more effectively.


Cheers friends,