Getting the Best Push-up Technique


A highly flexible exercise is the push-up. Push-ups build core strength and help you get a total body workout. When correctly performed, push-ups use muscles in the shoulders, chest, back, abdomen and legs. If you perform push-ups incorrectly, however, you risk injury and may not get results from the time and effort you expended doing the exercises.

With some attention to proper form, you can perform push-ups properly and in a way that prevents injury. Generally, good push-up form and technique include the following sequential steps:

• Straighten your arms to a point prior to where the elbows lock as you push your body up off the floor, maintaining a straight body line and exhaling.

• Lie chest-down on the floor with your palms flat and slightly more than shoulder- width apart, legs straight and toes tucked under your feet.

• Then, contract your abdominals and inhale as you bend your arms to lower your body slowly until your chest touches the floor. Keep your body straight, your knees off the floor and your feet together.

• Pause for a moment. Straighten your arms for a second push-up, and exhale as you raise your body.

One benefit of push-ups is the many variations that can keep your routine interesting and fun. These include bent knee push-ups, stability or medicine ball push-ups, decline push-ups, clapping push-ups and diamond push-ups. While these terms may be unfamiliar to you, we can explain how each one is performed and determine which would be most appropriate for your health needs.

Talk to us to get started on a routine individually designed to include the best variations and techniques to help you achieve your fitness and health goals. By monitoring your form and making sure you are positioned to perform push-ups correctly, we can help you safely and effectively get the most from this form of exercise.

Start your path to wellness with a complimentary Fitness Consultation.

Kim Gladfelter

Kim Gladfelter, PT, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, is a physical therapist and owner of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness in Los Altos, CA. Kim's facility has a complete wellness center, offering classes in Pilates, Yoga, Gyrotonic® and TRX suspension training, as well as special clinical programs for women’s health. Kim works with people aged 30-65+ on a daily basis and is an expert Columnist who writes health articles for the Los Altos Town Crier newspaper, professional newsletters and blogs nationwide. She also reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and exercise for back pain.
Kim Gladfelter

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