Learn to do push ups

the key to doing push ups


Who wants to learn how to do push ups like a rockstar??? Wait – I don’t actually know if rockstars do push ups. Ok, who wants to bust out some push ups at the gym and look like a total pro?! There we go…

I just realized that I haven’t gone over how to do push ups on my blog. I’ve had a love for push ups since high school when I won a contest in gym for doing over 45 in a row without stopping. Actually, the only reason I did stop was because the bell was going to ring. I wish I could say that I still bust out 45 in a row… but it’s more like 20 (okay 10).

I have seen people do some UGLY push ups before with sagging stomachs, tight shoulder blades, and super wide hands with their elbows pointing out. So how do we do them correctly? Honestly, pushups are only as hard as you make them and I promise almost anyone can do them with a few key tips!

1. SQUEEZE YOUR BUTT (and your stomach).

You might be thinking, “what does my butt have to do with push ups” – the answer is EVERYTHING. Part of the reason people cannot do push ups correctly is because they are not in a straight line. For example, have you ever tried to do a push up from the ground but your chest raises first and you get a sagging stomach? That’s because you are not in a straight line. You have to force your body into the correct position and you do that by squeezing your butt cheeks together. Simultaneously, squeeze your core. The tighter your mid section is, the more likely you’ll be able to push yourself off the ground.

2. TRACK YOUR ELBOWS BACKWARD. 

Try this – lay on your stomach. Place your hands next to your chest about shoulder width apart. Push your hands into the ground really hard and raise your chest (legs can stay on ground – imagine the “cobra” position in yoga). Note which direction your elbows are facing. If they are wide and pointing out – you are making push ups much harder on yourself. If your arms stay tight next to your side and your elbows are facing backward (toward your feet) you are doing them correctly. The closer your arms are to the midline of your body (the center of your body) the easier the exercise. You’ll be able to depend on more than just your arms to push you up if you keep everything centered and tight.

3. PRACTICE!

If you cannot do push ups, don’t expect to just magically be able to do them one day. Start by standing up and placing your hands on a wall. Slowly lower your chest to the wall (tighten your butt and core) and push back up into a standing position. Once that is easy, find a chair or a bench to do push ups off of. Then, work your way to the ground by starting on your knees. Finally, try normal pushups. The above tips apply to ALL steps. Keep your butt tight and place your arms close to the center of your body with your elbows tracking BACK!

Check out the video below for more visual demonstration and leave me a comment once you’ve perfected your very first push up!

Heather Stammen

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