Push-ups are a great toning exercise for both your core and upper body. However, it is an exercise people often struggle with. Having the correct form is the key to getting the most out of your push-up. Try these tips today!
- Everything in Alignment
When completing a push-up, your entire body should be in alignment. Your butt shouldn’t be too high or too low; it should line up with your spine. A great way to keep your backside in check is to tuck your tailbone under before lowering into a push-up. Do not keep your head arched up, and do not let it drop down; be sure to also have your neck in line with your spine. If your neck is in the optimal position, you should be looking in between your hands.
- Engage Your Core
Often times, people think that they cannot do a full push-up because their upper body is not strong enough. However, by engaging your core you take some of the pressure off of your arms, shoulders and chest. At the top of each push-up, think about engaging the core by pulling the belly button back towards the spine.
- Arms, Arms, Arms!
Where you place your arms matters! Arms in a narrow stance targets your triceps more, and arms placed farther apart work your shoulders and chest muscles more. Our instructor, Anna, recommends placing your arms at a forty-five degree angle from your torso. Be sure to think about sending your elbows to the corners so they don’t flare out. Performing a variety of push-ups will target multiple muscles for a strong, toned upper body!
- Full Push-Ups and Other Variations
Once you have perfected the above steps, you can play around with push-up variations! You can do assisted push-ups by placing your knees on the ground. You can perform decline push-ups elevating the feet on a chair or a block. However, with these variations, be sure to still keep good form. Anna recommends, when doing a full push-up, to squeeze your shoulder blades on the way down and separate your shoulder blades at the top by pushing into the ground.