The Perfect Push Up

by Jessica B. | December 21st, 2012 | Strength Training, Upper Body

Building upper body strength using the push up is an easy, effective, and inexpensive way to build upper body strength. But are you doing your push ups in an optimal way? Making sure you are doing a good push up can make the difference in the amount of reps you need to do. It might mean lower reps now, but it will mean increased success in the future. Here are a few tips to perfecting your push up technique and making sure every push up counts.

1) Personal trainer – A personal trainer can be expensive, but all you need is one session. Work with your trainer to troubleshoot your push up. Get tips as to how to keep your posture perfect.

2) Record your efforts – Record yourself doing a push up, if you want a cheaper version of a personal trainer. You should be able to see where you are uneven, and what muscles you are favoring; people tend to put more weight on their stronger side. Watch and see what you can improve.

3) Slow it down – A lot of people rush through their push ups to get maximum reps. Focus on performing slow and well-formed push ups to get the most from your workout. This will keep the tension in your arms up, and allow you to build even more muscle.

4) Almost touch the ground – Don’t do a push up dip; lower your body as far as you can go. Your chest should almost touch the ground, and then push up again. This might bring the number of reps down at first, but should increase the effectiveness of your workout.

5) Breathe! This may sound silly, but sometimes when you are focused on a workout, you hold your breath.  Come up with a routine where you breathe in on the way down, and breathe out on the way up, or vice versa.

6) Watch your elbows – You want to make sure your elbows are even and angled in towards your body to get the most out of your workout.

7) Hold it in – While you are focusing on your breath, make sure you are holding in your abs and your glutes. This way you are working all of the muscles in your body and keeping yourself aligned.

8) Stretch – Like any good workout, make sure you stretch it out after your push ups.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.