Do Push-Ups The Right Way


Want a strong and healthy body that moves well? Master push-ups the right way.

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Why do push-ups? If you’re generally healthy and pain-free, these are an excellent exercise to strengthen the shoulders, chest, and triceps while teaching the body brace the core while moving. It’s also a great exercise to practice proper gliding of the shoulder blades, assuming you do it correctly. It’s a perfect one to add to an at-home or travel exercise routine since you don’t need much, or anything, to do them.

1. HIPS IN LINE WITH SHOULDERS AND ANKLES. Don’t let the hips sag toward the ground or pike into the air. This keeps your pelvis and spine in the strongest and safest position and ensures you’re using the right muscles for this exercise.

2. CORE BRACED, GLUTES SQUEEZED, QUADS FLEXED. This helps you keep the proper spinal and pelvic position referenced above.

3. ELBOWS AT 45º. This is probably the best position for a great combination of chest and tricep recruitment and a safe position for most people’s shoulders. I typically don’t recommend “tricep push-ups” or “pec push-ups.”

4. PAUSE AT THE BOTTOM FOR CONTROL. I love exercises done with control. Can you tell? It’ll keep you as safe as possible, and will keep your exercise career long and productive. Injuries due to lifting too much weight aren’t impressive.

In the second part of this clip, you see me doing elevated push-ups. Elevated push ups with a full range of motion are more effective than push-ups done on the ground with crappy form and shortened range of motion. You can elevate using a desk, bench, chair, barbell, or anything else you can find that’s sturdy and won’t slide.

If these feel awkward, please have a coach check out your form! If push-ups hurt you should probably see a physical therapist to determine if they’re appropriate for you.

These are four necessary cues to start getting your push-ups on track. Do you want to see more about these, or any other exercises?

Have any questions? Email me at I’d love to chat!

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