Movement Library

Push Up Form

Push Up Benefits:

  • Defines upper body muscles, including shoulders and arms.
  • Increases chest push strength by engaging pecs, deltoids, and triceps.

How to do a Push Up:

NOTE: It is very important to perform a pushup with proper form in order to reduce the risks of shoulder pain and injury.

Start Position: Begin with your hands at chest height, directly underneath your shoulders, in plank position on your toes

Movement: Engage your core and glutes, slowly lower chest one to two inches off the ground. Keep your elbows 45 degrees from your body.  Keep your gaze on the floor and your head and neck aligned with your spine.

Return: Drive through your hands, re-engage your core and push your body away from the ground, fully extending your arms.

Modification and Progression of a Push Up:

  • To simplify the push up, perform the movement against an elevated stable surface, decreasing the load on your chest. Or drop to your knees decreasing the lever length of your body.
  • To advance the push up, try out a Tricep Push Up, focusing more on those tricep muscles.

Movement Tips:  

  • Engage your scapula (shoulder blades) to control the movement.
  • Spread your fingers for a little extra strength.
  • Avoid keeping your elbows at 90 degrees as you descend, as this can aggravate or cause shoulder pain.
  • Keep your head in alignment with your neck, ensuring proper form. Your pectoralis should lead the charge toward the ground.


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