When it comes to building a stronger body sometimes going back to basics is best. If you’re not performing an exercise correctly, or only doing a partial rep, you’re wasting time and energy.
That being said, the push up is one of the fundamental movements all Are You Gamers need to know to maximize their results.
Here are 5 tips to perfect your push up:
1) HAND & ELBOW POSITION
Hand position during the push up is important because depending on where they are, they can assist keeping the elbows in or flaring them out away from the body. In a correct push-up, hand position and elbow position are important.
- Your elbows should be tucked in slightly, not out an away from the body.
- People often set up with their hand position high and wide. If you took a snapshot from above as in an aerial view, their set up would look like the letter T.
- When setting up for your push up, think about looking more like an arrow with elbows pointed down towards the feet and tucked into the body.
2) LEAD WITH YOUR CHEST
Your chest should be the first thing to touch the ground, not your nose. If your nose leads your push up you’ll look like a chicken having lunch, pecking at the ground. Don’t be a chicken head!
- Keep your head tucked back slightly to prevent the chicken head.
3) WATCH THOSE HIPS
“Caterpillaring” or doing the “worm”, is allowing the hips to sag resulting in a pelvic tilt which is bad for your lower back.
- Squeeze your midsection (core) and glutes as a reminder to keep your hips form sagging and hyperextending your lower back.
4) DO A FULL REP!
If you’re only doing a half rep you’re cheating yourself of half your workout. Would you do half a squat or half a curl? You want to make sure you get the full range of motion for maximum gains.
- When doing a full rep, your chest will come all the way to the ground (think of your chest giving the floor a quick peck on the cheek) while maintaining a stiff plank position throughout. After you reach the bottom, you push back up to your start position with arms fully extended.
5) REGRESS IF YOU’RE NOT STRONG ENOUGH (YET) FOR A FULL REP
Attempting a push up variation that is too hard, with too little strength will result in bad form and potential injuries. Regress, but elevating your hands, keeping proper form and progress to the next level when you are ready. There is no need to race to a finish line that does not exist.
Here are some variations you can try:
- Wall push up: Set up your push up with hands on a wall. Move your feet out away from the wall to make it more difficult.
- Bench push up: Set up your push up with hands on a bench.
- Kettlebell push up: Using heavy kettlebells, set up your push up with hands on the kettlebell handles.
If you need help or someone to take a look at your push up technique and give you some tips, AYG trainers are always ready to assist. Feel free to ask for help when you need it.
Have a great workout!