How do you do push ups? Exercises are vital for general body fitness and well-being. This is probably the reason why many people visit the gym or have private home exercise programs. Needless to say, push ups are one of the best exercises ever invented. However, according to Meek Mill, an American based rapper, push-ups are not only a source of physical strength but can also earn you $20. In a video captured by fans, Meek Mill is seen offering an elderly homeless man $20 only if he does 20 push ups. Though quite skeptical, the man agrees and goes down for 20 push ups.
With that said, there is much interest as to how to do push ups in the right way. Numerous variations of push ups help you build strength in various places. Push ups are easily quantifiable. Tracking your progression is quite simple. How should you get ready for the exercise?
How to Set up for a Proper Push up
It is of immense importance that you undertake the push ups perfectly. This will aid in measuring your gained power and strength over time. With that said, here is how to get set up before doing a push up.
How to do Push ups: Hand positioning
The positioning of your hands will be your setup for determining the number and strength of your push ups. You can choose to set your hands at a distance that is considerably wider than your shoulder width. You can angle your hands in a way that feels comfortable for you. If you are on a semi-soft surface or a carpet, you can even do the push ups on your knuckles.
How to do Push ups: Placement of Feet
Everything is all about comfort. Set your feet in a position comfortable for you. This could be a position shoulder width or touching. Keep in mind that the wider apart your feet are, the more stable you are.
How to do Push ups: General body alignment
You should position your body as a giant straight line. Therefore, ensure that it is straight from your head down to your heels. Besides, ensure your butt doesn’t stick up in the air or sagging. For those with problems maintaining a straight body, try clenching your bottom to help flatten your body. This will also tighten your abs significantly and engage your core.
How to do Push ups: Head positioning
Many people do Push ups incorrectly by angling their heads downwards. It is recommended that you look slightly ahead. This may help place your body in line and help you focus better. In this position, your chin should be the first part of your head to touch the floor.
How to do Push ups: Arms
Your arms should be relatively flexible. At the top of your push up, the arms should be straight and be supporting your weight completely.
With the above tips in mind, you are ready to begin a complete push up. Don’t be too eager! Make sure you are following the correct technique. The steps are outlined below for one push up:
- With the arms straight, abs braced, and bottom clenched, gently lower yourself to the ground. Bending your elbows, lower yourself until your elbows are at or less than 90 degrees.
- 90 degrees can be the lowest you might go depending on your level of experience, flexibility, and age. However, if you can do it, lower yourself until your chest touches the floor.
- Always keep your elbows close to your body. Do not let your elbows angle outwards as you will easily get tired.
- Once your arms are at 90 degrees (or if your chest touches the floor), pause before raising yourself back up to your original position. Then raise yourself up. That’s a complete cycle! Congratulations!
- You can do as many push ups as you can until you feel tired. Note your maximum number and aim to do more push ups the next time you practice.
Some people can’t manage a single push up. That’s normal for some. With time, starting from simpler exercises, you can manage your way up to several push ups. Starting with an easier push movement can help you progress to true push ups. There are two main types of easier push movements. They include wall push ups and elevated push ups.
Wall Push ups
They are similar to ground push ups, only these are done while standing next to a wall. Like regular push ups, clench your bottom, tighten your abs, and place your hands in front of you on the wall. Your hands should be at a distance wider than your shoulders. Then, you should walk backward until your hands are fully extended. Keep your body in a straight line, and bending your elbows, lean your body towards the wall until your nose almost touches the wall. Pause, and then push against the wall to your initial position.
Try to accomplish 4 sets of wall push ups with a 2-minute rest between the sets. Keep track of the number of repetitions you can do perfectly. Once you manage 20 repetitions per day, progress to the next level, which is the elevated push ups.
This form of push-ups is just what it sounds like. The hands are placed on a relatively elevated surface. This could be a kitchen table or blocks that are a few inches off of the ground. The choice of the level of elevation depends on your individual strength and experience. For those who progressed from wall push-ups, a bench or a picnic table can be the perfect height for doing elevated push-ups. Position your hands on the elevated item(s), and make sure your body is aligned.
You can work on accomplishing 4 sets of elevated push-ups with a 2-minute break on a daily basis. Like the wall push-ups, keep track of the repetitions. Once you can complete 4 sets of 20 repetitions, proceed to regular push ups, knee push ups or other intriguing variations.
How To Get Better At Push-ups
Having learned this art, it is important that you maintain and more importantly get better at it. Consider the tips mentioned below for better push-ups.
- Eat healthy foods. Proteins help in rebuilding the muscles broken down during the exercising period.
- Avoid cheating on the last few push-ups. It is easy to skip out on technique for the last few reps due to fatigue. Be devoid of such, as it can cost you the whole exercise.
- Take some time off. After engaging your muscles in this strenuous exercise, it is of immense importance that you provide your muscles with the time to rebuild and recover. Therefore, rest your muscles for at least 48 hours between 2 successful exercise regimens. Avoid exercising those muscles 2 days in a row.
Continuous basic push-ups can be quite boring. Fortunately, there are dozens of other push-up variations that can make things more interesting and difficult. These variations are less about strength and muscle building and more about muscle endurance. Some of the variations include:
- One foot push-ups. This is probably the easiest variation. It requires that your body stays in balance while moving.
- Walking push-ups. This adds some degree of difficulty, as it requires you to move in-between your reps.
- Decline push-ups. These push-ups build more on the shoulders and triceps.
- Triceps push-ups. They work crazily on your triceps.
- Dive bomber push ups. These are funky and difficult but fun.
- Plyometric push-ups. These variations are totally brutal and can result in muscle wear in a few reps.
Push-ups, just like other exercises, are a way to build a healthy body physique. However, many people do them incorrectly. Therefore, with the techniques mentioned above, you can help yourself accomplish perfect push-ups that will result in overall muscle strength, building, and endurance. Good luck.