How to properly do push-ups

A push-up is an exercise that can help you torch calories, build and tone muscle, gain strength, and positively impact your overall fitness, function, and performance. 


Due to its versatility, mastering this exercise can be vital to unlocking your true fitness potential. The question of how to properly do push-ups is often ask. This article will explore what push-up exercise is, its benefits and how to properly do push-ups. 

What is a push-up?

The push-up exercise is a very popular exercise used in upper extremity training. It is a closed kinetic chain exercise that requires no tools and uses the body weight for resistance. It has many variations, so it can be adjusted according to the fitness level. The muscles it primary targets are the pectoralis major, tricpes brachii and scapula stabilizers.

How to properly do push-ups

Push-ups are a basic exercise used in civilian athletic training or physical education and commonly in military physical training. They are also a common form of punishment used in the military, school sport, and some martial arts disciplines.

What are the benefits of pushups?

The push-up is a tried and true bodyweight exercise known to provide several potential benefits. Here are the top benefits of regularly performing push-ups.

Builds upper body strength

Considering that the push-up is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, it has great potential to build upper body strength. They can build significant strength in the pectoralis, tricep, and anterior deltoid muscles. In addition, research suggests that weighted push-ups can provide similar muscle activation as the bench press, another well-known upper body exercise 


May reduce the risk of cardiac events

Research suggests that being able to perform push-ups and being physically fit lowers your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Those who could perform more than 40 push-ups had a lower risk of cardiovascular events than those who could perform fewer than 10. This indicates that push-up ability could be used as a marker of physical fitness and that being able to perform more push-ups could indicate better heart health.

May improve body composition


Anyone who has done more than just a few push-ups knows they can get your heart pumping. Adding strength exercises like push-ups to an aerobic exercise program can increase energy metabolism, resulting in more calories burned. This could lead to benefits like increased fat loss.  Thus, adding push-ups to a well-balanced workout regimen alongside a suitable diet can lead to long-term improvements in body composition.

How to properly do push-ups

Here are instructions to help do push up properly

How to properly do push-ups
  • Place your hands shoulder-width or slightly wider apart. If you draw a straight line from your chest/nipple down, it should be directly over your thumbnails. “Depending on your strength and experience, your hands should be angled in a way that feels comfortable for you. I prefer the middle finger pointing straight away from me,” says Bullock.
  • Place your feet shoulder-width or slighter wider apart. 
  • With the body as a straight line from the top of your head to your heels, brace the core and glutes, then look a few inches in front of your fingers to lengthen the neck.
  • Begin to bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle or less. Elbows should be a few inches from the body so your form looks like an arrow if looking top-down. Many people have their elbows flared in a “T” shape. 
  • Pause, then push into the floor, continuing to engage the core and glutes to press up to plank position again.

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