async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: How To Do The Perfect Push Up

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How To Do The Perfect Push Up

Recently, I was tagged multiple times on Instagram to participate in a 10x10 push up challenge. With everyone staying at home for an undefinite period of time, workout challenges and virtual workouts have become very popular. I was pretty excited about the push up challenge because I think the push up is the perfect exercise. All runners should be incorporating push ups into their cross training regimen.

There's a reason push ups are used as a benchmark of physical fitness. Push ups are one of the best body weight movements you can do. Push ups strengthen your chest and back muscles, as well as your arms. Done properly, push ups force you to engage your core to support  and strengthen your lower back. Your lower body is engaged as a stabilizer throughout the movement. Push ups can also strengthen the muscles that support the shoulders.

You need no equipment to do a push up, which makes it the perfect movement for a home exercise program.



My strength coach has me regularly work on push ups and they are almost always part of the CrossFit WOD or warmup. I'm going to pass along some of the tips I've learned.

Place your hands in line with your shoulders, slightly shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward.


Tighten your core first. Engage your glutes. Your hips should lift off the ground.


Rise up as a unit, fully extending your arms into a plank position. Take care not to let your mid-section sink forward. Keep your head forward with your body, with your gaze slightly forward. Your neck should not be strained.


Slowly lower back to the floor with control. Allow your chest to touch the ground but keep your hips and core engaged.

Some helpful tips:
Placing a broomstick or similar object under your hips will help remind you to keep your hips off the ground between push ups.

Always go for quality over quantity.

Varying your hand placement can work different muscle groups. As you become more proficient and want to challenge yourself, you can do deficit push ups by placing your hands on a brick or a book.

If you have wrist issues or need to modify for any other reason, you can do push ups on your knees or against the wall. Take care to maintain proper form so that you receive the most benefits from the exercise.


Do you do push ups regularly? Have you tried any of the variations?


Push ups are the best body weight exercise you can do! Join me in the 10x10 push up challenge! /via @oldrunningmom #runchat #homeexercise #pushups #socialdistancing

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahSmithaJenRachel, and Lisa.

 



36 comments :

  1. Another Helpful Hit - Make Sure Your Dog Supervises Your Every Move - Love It

    I Do Push!! I Have Been On The Pyramid Kick Lately - Start With 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 16, 12, 10, 9, 8, & 3 = 100 - Take All Day If You Need To But There Is Something Rewarding Completing A Hundred Push Ups Everyday

    I Definitely Move/Focus My Hand Placement For Traps Or Triceps or Chest Movements - And Yes, The Core Is The Hidden Benefit Of The Push Up - Speaking Of, Try Holding Yourself Up In A Push Up And Then Move Each Arm Independently Into The Plank Position, Hold, And One Arm At A Time Back To The Push Up Position - It Takes Some Coordinations But I Have Faith In Ya All

    I Dont Recall The Name Of It, While In The Up Position, Move Each Foot Out To The Side As If Doing Jumping Jacks - Again, One Foot At A Time - When Your Feet Come Back Together, Do A Push Up, Repeat This Motion AS LONG AS YOU HOLD SOLID FORM

    Last But Not Least - Do Half Way Down Push Up, Back Up, Then All The Way Down - Thats One - Shoot For 5 Perfect Form Of These - Good On You!! Excellent Post!!

    Hope You All Engage, Stay Strong, & Keeping Pounding The H2o,
    Cheers

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    1. There's always more ways to torture yourself, isn't there? Like burpees...Did a lot of those today..

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  2. Great tips Wendy! Also, I would like to ask Cocoa to supervise me while I do my push ups, lol :)

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    1. I don't know what was wrong with her, but she wouldn't leave me alone while I was doing this! LOL

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  3. I haven't done pushups in a long time but attempted doing them leaning on my counter. My left elbow kept cracking, which made me stop because I think I have some weird thing going on, joint pain-wise. I swear, it's always something. Currently, walking is as much as I'm doing. At least it's something?

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  4. I think you forgot an important step: have Cocoa (or other cute pup) supervise!

    I used to do pushups a little, but I kind of hate them, and now it's just a little too much on my injured side. I will get back to it.

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    1. Maybe you could do them on your knees? At least it's something, right?

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  5. I've also heard that people with wrist issues can do them with dumbbells - so, instead of your hands on the floor, the hands are gripping dumbbells and that way your wrists don't have to do that awkward 90 degree torque. Have you heard that? It kind of makes sense to me.

    Yes, this is the perfect well-rounded exercise. I love body-weight moves. Effective AND versatile (you can do them anywhere, anytime).

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    1. I think the dumbbells would be great even if you don't have wrist issues-it's amazing what a difference changing your hand position can do.

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  6. Yes, I do push-ups! I try to do them just like you show it. My goal is to do 30 with only 3 breaks, but it's hard. Are the breaks defined in the 10x10 challenge or do you simply pause until you get your breath back?

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    1. I don't know if there are any rules to the challenge! Anyone out there who knows, share with us!

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    2. I did some googling and from what I see, it's "see someone do 10 pushups, and then do 10 pushups yourself". That sounds very doable. I thought we were talking about doing 100 pushups.... Which I don't doubt that you can do!!

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    3. With that burpee challenge from CrossFit, 100 pushups would do me in!

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  7. These are great cues! Doing a push up correctly is really very challenging. Yours looks fantastic

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  8. It had been a while since I've done regular push ups. Great tips, Wendy!

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    1. I always thought chataurangas were equivalent but you don't really push up from them! It's nice to revisit the push up.

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  9. The pushup is a great exercise and you gave an awesome description. I've done a lot of different variations.

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    1. The push up is such an integral part of my routine now! I just love what it can do.

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  10. I shunned push-ups for most of my life until P90X introduced them to me (10 years ago). Now, they are one of my favorite go-to's (and not because they're easy LOL).

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    1. They aren't easy if you do them right! Quality over quantity.

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  11. Great tips! I worked on my push-up form alot last year but I think they need some work again. Quality over quantity is key with push-ups. I could probably do alot more of them if I didnt maintain good form!

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    1. It gets tough to keep the core engaged as you go, that's for sure!!

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  12. Great tips! I've been working on my push-ups to build strength postpartum. They are such a valuable exercise! I agree with quality over quantity - a few with good form go a long way.

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  13. Great tutorial! I use the Perfect Push Up thingies for my clients with wrist issues and that works well. I used to do pushups with my feet elevated - those were the days!

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  14. I have pushups coming up in my "Upper Fix" workout tonight! (from the 21 day fix) I am doing my best with form though sometimes I feel like my arms chicken wing out a little too much. Not sure! Now that I'm pregnant, I have been doing push ups on my knee position instead to just focus on form. Doing my best to engage core and not get diastasis recti in the long run!

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    1. I find that those knee push ups, done properly, are really challenging!

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  15. My favorite part of this is seeing Cocoa coaching you! I really need to join this challenge. My push ups are alnost non-existent since my shoulder injury.

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    1. I don't know what was going on with her--but she made sure I had good form, lol!

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  16. Yay for excellent push up form! I find my high school kids can barely do pushups. And a lot of my adult clients struggle but interestingly, they improve and adapt much faster than my high school kids!

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    1. It seems like kids just don't know how to engage their core!

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  17. Going to OTF got me back on the push-up bandwagon. This is a great tutorial - and I love Coach Cocoa's supervision! :)

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  18. Thanks for these tips! I "cannot" do the ones you do but sometimes I do wall pushups. Thank you for linking up with us!

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