5 Steps to Improving your Push up

by Katie Mitchell

Push ups are one of the best exercises- requiring no equipment, and working multiple muscles at one time. The actual motion of a pushup trains the chest, triceps and the anterior deltoids, while stretching the biceps and back. I have found that they are great at increasing muscle size and tone. Here are 5 steps to improving your push ups. . .

1.  Keep your head looking forward or at least neutral.  In order to do a successful push-up you need to maintain a stiff upper back.  Keeping your head braced will allow you to do that.  If you drop your head then your upper back will sag.

2.  Hold your abdominals tight to keep your back straight.  Whether you’re performing your push-ups from your knees or with your legs straight you need to maintain good back position.  This means that your hips should be down and your back isn’t excessively bowed in the middle.  Keeping your abdominals tight will enforce this position.

3.  Your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders, palms under your shoulders.  This will enable your shoulders to maintain a healthy position and allow your chest to perform most of the work as it should.

4. The push-up does a lot for creating strength and stability in the back muscles as well as the chest and triceps.  At the bottom of the movement focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.  Then as you come up roll them back out.

5.  Finishing the push-up focuses on the triceps to straighten the arms out.  During the last third of the movement, as you’re pushing up, focus on rolling your elbows out to force your arms straight.

Concentrate on the action of the muscles you are training next time you work on your push ups!