For the very few, knocking out a hundred push-ups is a simple task. For the rest of us, the thought of doing even half that many are no easy feat. The pushup is one of those core go-to exercises that if done right, can benefit your body and your overall health in so many ways. Done incorrectly, however, and the push-up will quickly become that one exercise in your workout routine that you come to dread.
You’ll need to learn what a good pushup looks like versus a bad one. Once you have proper form in your head, you need to start small and build your skills up! Then, you’ll move to the next level, as you evolve your way into pushup superstardom!
Learn what it looks like
As in every conditioning exercise, form is absolutely essential to avoiding injury and maximizing pushup results. At first glance, it may appear this is an exercise focused on the arms and chest only, but it’s actually a solid core exercise.
Proper pushup form requires a contracted core. When your body is in plank position, squeeze your abs and your glutes. Where you place your hands and feet are totally up to what feels most comfortable, and what smaller muscle groups you want to work.
Start with the incline pushup
So how do you start doing pushups? If you’re just starting out, the best way to begin your journey to perfect push-up mastery is to build your strength up with incline pushups. In this exercise, instead of pushing your entire body weight up from the floor, you will perform the push up from a weight bench or a very sturdy chair, sofa, coffee table, etc.
Continue to perform incline pushups each time its called for in your daily workout, until you’ve built up enough strength and ability to maintain proper form, that you can move on to a basic floor pushup.
Incline pushups are a great way to practice form and build strength. But unassisted pushups are much more efficient at working your core, building a stronger chest, and toning soft arms.
Always do as many as you can without sacrificing form. If your back starts to sag, or you aren’t able to lower your body parallel to the floor, stop and take a break. Form is essential to getting the results you want. Four perfectly performed pushups are always far better than ten sloppy ones. It does not matter how many you do. What matters is that you do them right.