How to Do a Proper Push-Up

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How to Do a Proper Push-Up
Do a Proper Push-Up

Push-ups aren't just for buff army trainees; they are a great upper body, low-cost exercise. If you're just looking to tone up or gain strength but not too much mass, push-ups are a great exercise. The best thing is you don't have to go to the gym to do them, you can do them at home!

Here's the proper way to do push-ups anywhere.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Exercise mat
  • Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lie chest-down with your hands at shoulder level, palms flat on the floor and slightly more than shoulder-width apart, your feet together and parallel to each other.

    How to Do a Proper Push-Up
    Starting push-up position
  2. 2

    Look forward rather than down at the floor. The first contact you make with the floor with any part of the face should be your chin, not your nose.

  3. 3

    Keep your legs straight and your toes tucked under your feet.

  4. 4

    Straighten your arms as you push your body up off the floor. Keep your palms fixed at the same position and keep your body straight. Try not to bend or arch your upper or lower back as you push up.

    How to Do a Proper Push-Up
  5. 5

    Exhale as your arms straighten out.

  6. 6

    Pause for a moment.

    How to Do a Proper Push-Up
  7. 7

    Lower your body slowly towards the floor. Bend your arms and keep your palms in fixed position. Keep body straight and feet together.

    How to Do a Proper Push-Up
  8. 8

    Lower body until chest touches the floor. Try not to bend your back. Keep your knees off the floor, and inhale as you bend your arms.

  9. 9

    Pause for a moment. Begin straightening your arms for a second push-up. Exhale as you raise your body.

    How to Do a Proper Push-Up

Tips and warnings

  • For easier push-ups, have an exercise partner place a closed fist underneath your chest. As you lower your body, touch your chest to the fist, pause, then raise your body. This is a little easier than touching your chest to the floor.
  • For an easier exercise, lower your knees so that they rest on the floor. Keeping your back straight and your toes tucked under your feet, proceed with the exercise normally. This decreases the amount of pressure placed on your arms.
  • Another variation of a push-up is the incline push-up. Leaning on a vertical surface, such as a wall, place your hands shoulder-width apart and slowly proceed with the normal exercise.
  • To isolate your chest more during a push-up, widen the position of your hands a little bit. If you want to work out your triceps more, do the opposite and bring your hands closer together so that they're under your chest.
  • If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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