Tips for the Perfect Push Up

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT PUSH UP

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A bodyweight exercise that the majority of people perform wrong.
Here are some tips for you to perfect this awesome chest pumping exercise.
 

1. Screw your hands into the floor

Grip the floor with your hands and simultaneously drive your palms down and twist them as if you were trying to rip the floor between them. Your elbows and biceps should rotate so that they face forward. Shoulder width apart, no wider.

2. Keep your neck in line with your spine

Don’t tuck your chin or look straight out in front of you. Instead, pick a spot on the floor that is about 6 to 10 inches in front of your fingers and keep your eyes focused on it as you perform the movement. This should keep your neck in a straight line with the rest of your body.

To test your form: Start by assuming a pushup position, and then have a friend place a broomstick along your back. It should touch your head, upper back, and butt; this indicates that your spine is in proper alignment. If the stick doesn’t make contact at all three points, simply adjust your posture until it does. That’s the position you need to hold.

3. Squeeze a business card in your armpit

Imagining as if you’re squeezing something super-thin—like a piece of paper—will help you activate your lat muscles to assist in the movement and to keep your upper body rock-solid.

4. Draw your shoulders back

Pull your shoulders down and away from your ears and toward your feet. Then engage your back muscles by pretending as if you’re trying to draw your shoulder blades together so they meet in the middle.

5. Squeeze those Abs

Imagine yoou are doing a plank and aim to keep your whole core tight.

6. Clench your glutes

Your glutes play a vital role in performing a pushup, even though it might seem only like an upper-body exercise. Squeezing them helps you lock your hips into place so your body can form one straight line from your heels to the top of your head

Get into a pushup position with your glutes relaxed. Feel how your lower back is being pulled towards the floor? Now squeeze your glute muscle as hard as possible to feel your hips rotate into place and remove the stress from your spine.

  • 4. Draw your shoulders back

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    The benefit: Having your shoulders shrugged up around your ears puts your neck and upper back in a compromised position. “Not only are they not working to keep your upper body as one rock-solid unit, but it’s also putting you at risk for injury, since movement in your shoulders when you perform the exercise will push your neck around,” he explains.How to do it: Pull your shoulders down and away from your ears and toward your feet. Then engage your back muscles by pretending as if you’re trying to draw your shoulder blades together so they meet in the middle.

  • 5. Pull your palms to your toes

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    The benefit: It’s easy to allow your torso to sag or bow, especially when you’re performing a lot of reps or you don’t have a mirror to check your form. “But this cue actually helps you contract your core—like a mini crunch—enough to keep your back flat and your torso stable,” says De WispelaereHow to do it: After your upper body is fully in position. Try to pull your hands towards your feet by clenching your core.

  • 6. Clench your glutes

    5 / 11
    The benefit: Your glutes play a vital role in performing a pushup, even though it might seem only like an upper-body exercise. “Squeezing them helps you lock your hips into place so your body can form one straight line from your heels to the top of your head,” explains De Wispelaere. It will help take stress off of your lower back, reducing your risk for injury, and activate your core, making the pushup as much of an abs exercise as the plank.How to do it: Get into a pushup position with your glutes relaxed. Feel how your lower back is being pulled towards the floor? Now squeeze your glute muscle as hard as possible to feel your hips rotate into place and remove the stress from your spine.

  • 7. Pull your feet together

  • 7. Inhale down, exhale up

    As you lower towards the ground, take a deep breath in. As you push up, quickly exhale as much air as possible.

    Repeat with every repetition during slow and controlled sets.

    8. Pull your chest to the floor

    Get into a solid pushup position. As you lower, focus on using your lats and upper back to control your downward

    movement to pretend as if you’re pulling yourself towards the floor.
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About Al

Al Nuttall is the founder and Personal Trainer of Peak Performance 365 based in Cairns, in Far North Queensland. He's a firm believer that you can achieve anything you put your mind to and, as a testament, he lives his life by that philosophy. He will set out achievable goals and develop a plan on how to reach them. Will power and hard work will do the rest. Changing your lifestyle isn’t meant to be easy but the rewards will definitely be worth all the effort in the end. So what are you waiting for? GIve Al a call and start to be the best you can be... everyday!

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