Methods to Do a (Correct) Push-up


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The push-up is among the greatest workouts on the planet.

It’s a foundational motion in power coaching, and an train EVERYBODY must be doing frequently.

Nonetheless, it’s additionally an train that about 95% of individuals get incorrect and do incorrectly.

Fortuitously, after studying at present’s final information, you’ll know precisely how one can do a correct push-up with appropriate kind:

Earlier than we bounce in, in case you’re in search of a approach to prepare anyplace (like with push-ups), you might have an interest within the new app we constructed!

Nerd Health Journey will information you thru a exercise routine that may be finished anyplace, all whereas creating your very personal superhero!

You may give it a free check drive proper right here:

Methods to Arrange for a Correct Push-up (Staging)

Steve is setting up a proper push-up in this photo.

On the subject of push-ups, your kind is essential. Every push-up must be finished with correct kind in order that your whole reps measured from exercise to exercise are on equal footing.

This gif shows Staci doing a push-up in perfect form.

Should you did 20 push-ups two days in the past, after which at present you probably did 25 push-ups by solely taking place midway, sticking your ass up within the air, and so forth., it’s completely unimaginable to inform in case you acquired any stronger.

Another angle of showing how to setup a proper push-up.

Right here’s how one can get into correct push-up place:

1) On the bottom, set your arms at a distance that’s barely wider than shoulder-width aside. 

Draw a straight line out of your chest/nipple all the way down to the ground – it must be instantly over your thumbnail.

Relying in your power and expertise, your arms must be angled in a approach that feels comfy to you. For me, my arms are arrange in order that my center finger factors straight up and away from me.

2) To alleviate wrist ache (when you have poor wrist flexibility) do your push-ups holding onto push-up handles (so your wrists aren’t as compromised), or a bar:

Staci showing you an elevated push-up

Should you’re hardcore, you are able to do them in your knuckles (so long as you’re on a semi-soft floor like grass or carpet or damaged glass. Wait, scratch that final one).

3) Your ft must be arrange in a approach that feels proper and comfy and in stability. For some, that may be shoulder-width aside.

For others, it may be together with your ft touching. Typically talking, the broader aside your ft, the extra secure you’ll be on your push-ups.

4) Consider your physique as one big straight line – from the highest of your head down by your heels. Your butt shouldn’t be sticking approach up within the air or sagging. You’re primarily holding a plank all through your complete motion, as proven on this video beneath:

5) When you’ve got an issue getting the correct kind together with your physique, do that: clench your butt, after which tighten your abs as in case you’re bracing to get punched.

Your core will probably be engaged, and your physique must be in that straight line. Should you’ve been doing push-ups incorrectly, this may be an enormous change for you.

File a video of your self to be sure you’re doing it accurately.

6) Your head must be wanting barely forward of you, not straight down.

I learn someplace that mentioned “in case you’re doing them proper, your chin must be the primary a part of your head to the touch the ground, not your nostril.”

Wanting up helps you retain your physique in line, however be happy to look down if that helps you focus extra.

7) On the prime of your push-up, your arms must be straight and supporting your weight. You’re now able to do a push-up.

8) I need to draw particular consideration to that first step with hand place: practically EVERYBODY does push-ups with their arms out far too large and their shoulders flared. That is dangerous information bears. 

If I used to be wanting down at you from above, your arms and physique ought to kind an ARROW, not a T.

As you can see, you want your arms to be like an arrow, not a T when doing push-ups.

WARNING: When you’ve got been doing push-ups together with your arms flared, doing them with correct kind will probably be considerably harder!

Methods to Do a Correct Push-Up (Appropriate Push-Up Kind with Video).

Within the 5-minute “Good Push-Up” video above, that includes yours actually and two of our coaches, we take you thru EACH of the steps of a push-up, together with some variations!

Right here’s how one can full one good repetition of a correct push up:

  • Together with your arms straight, butt clenched, and abs braced, steadily decrease your self till your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or much less. Relying in your stage of expertise, age, and suppleness, 90 levels may be the bottom you’re capable of go. Personally, I prefer to go down till my chest (not my face), hits the ground. That approach, I do know I’m going the identical distance each time.
  • Attempt to not let your elbows go flying approach out with every repetition. Maintain them comparatively near your physique, and maintain notice of once they begin to fly out whenever you get drained.
  • As soon as your chest (or nostril/chin) touches the ground (or your arms go all the way down to a 90-degree angle), pause barely after which explode again up till you’re again in the identical place.

Once you get down like so for your push-up it's time to...push...up.

Do as many as you’ll be able to till you begin to really feel your kind slip (even barely); you might be finished for that set.

Right here’s why you need to concentrate on kind over amount:

  • 10 good push-ups and 5 crappy ones are robust to quantify towards eleven good push-ups.
  • Should you can solely do 10 of one thing, write down your outcomes and goal for 11 subsequent time.
  • Good kind lets you maintain monitor of your enhancements week over week.

Wish to know the place push-ups ought to fall into your exercise routine? I’ve three choices!

1) Attempt Nerd Health Journey!

Nerd Health Journey will information you thru a body weight exercise routine that may be finished anyplace (yep, even there). You’ll be able to attempt it without spending a dime proper right here:

2) Do them as a part of our Newbie Body weight Exercise Routine! This exercise has been finished by lots of of 1000’s of individuals as their first power coaching exercise.

3) Make your personal exercise with push-ups by following our Construct Your Personal Exercise” information! It’ll stroll you thru all the pieces it’s worthwhile to construct an train program on your objectives in 10 steps.

How Do You Practice to Do Push-Ups? (The place to Begin If You Can’t Do a Push-Up.)

Don’t fear in case you can’t do a push-up but. As we lay out within the video above, we have a plan that can assist you get there.

You must begin with a neater push motion, and work as much as progressively harder sorts of strikes that can ultimately end in you doing true push-ups.

That is the precise technique utilized in our information, “Get Your First Push-up!

We’ll progress from Stage 1 Push-ups to Stage 4 Push-ups:

  • Wall Push-Ups: Stage 1
  • Elevated Push-Ups: Stage 2
  • Knee Push-ups: Stage 3
  • Common Push-ups: Stage 4


Stand in entrance of a wall. Clench your butt, brace your abs, and set your arms on the wall at barely wider than shoulder-width aside.

Stroll backwards together with your ft till your arms are absolutely prolonged and supporting your weight (usually one respectable sized step again with each ft will suffice). Retaining the remainder of your physique in a straight line, steadily decrease your self in the direction of the wall till your nostril virtually touches the wall, after which explode again as much as the beginning place.


Do 4 units of wall push-ups with a 2-minute relaxation between units, each different day. Maintain monitor of what number of repetitions you are able to do WITH PROPER FORM for every set in a pocket book for simple comparability to earlier exercises. As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions of wall push-ups, you’ll be able to progress to knee push-ups.


As we display on this video above from Nerd Health Prime, elevated push-ups are simply what they sound like – your arms are on an elevated floor, whether or not it’s one thing as tall as a kitchen desk or as little as just a few blocks which are inches off the bottom. This can rely in your stage of power and expertise.

Should you’ve simply progressed from wall push-ups, decide one thing that’s at a stage that’s best for you – I usually discover the again of a park bench or the facet of a picnic desk to be an ideal top for doing incline push-ups. Like so:


Do 4 units of elevated push-ups with a 2-minute relaxation between units, each different day. Once more, maintain monitor of all your stats for what number of correct kind repetitions you are able to do in every set. As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions, it’s time to both transfer to common push-ups, knee push-ups, or a decrease top on your arms to be supported.

As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions, it’s time to both transfer to common push-ups, knee push-ups, or a decrease top on your arms to be supported.

To work on development, attempt to doing all your elevated push-ups on the steps in your own home. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to transfer your arms to decrease and decrease steps till your arms are on the bottom.


Knee push-ups like this are a great way to progress to a regular push-up!

As soon as you’re comfy doing wall or elevated push-ups, proceed to knee push-ups. Your shoulder and hand placement will look identical to a daily push-up (an “arrow”, not a “T”), however you’ll stabilize your self in your knees as an alternative of your ft. As demonstrated right here:


As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions in your knees, you can begin eager about doing common push-ups.

To recap, in case you can’t do a daily push-up, transfer from:

  • Wall Push-Ups: Stage 1
  • Elevated Push-Ups: Stage 2
  • Knee Push-Ups: Stage 3
  • Common Push-ups: Stage 4

How do I do know the above development will work? Properly, it’s the precise plan we use to assist individuals crush push-ups in Nerd Health Journey!

You’ll be able to see how we scale our body weight exercises proper right here:

What Are Different Varieties of Push-Ups? (Push-Up Variations)

These stromtroopers need some variety in their push-up routine...if this drill instructor ever lets up.

Primary push-ups can get boring…

Fortuitously, there are dozens upon dozens of variations to make issues harder for you.

When you’re cranking out good kind push-ups prefer it’s your job,[1] attempt a few of these superior variations on for dimension.

Click on on every for a video demonstration (these are a number of the push-up variations pulled from NF Prime):

#1) One-legged Push-ups: introducing some selection and stability by eradicating one in all your legs for much less stabilization:

#2) Aspect-to-Aspect Push-Ups Get into the basic push-up place and transfer your arms farther aside. Now, decrease your self down in the direction of one arm solely – you need to really feel such as you’re supporting a number of your weight. 

To finish the rep, slide horizontally over to the opposite arm, and push-up. The farther aside your arms, the upper proportion of your body weight will probably be supported by that facet of your chest/shoulder and arm (thus getting tougher)!

#3) Decline Push-Ups – these work your shoulders and triceps extra so than regular push-ups.

#4) Diamond Push-Ups – maintain your arms tight at your facet, rotate your arms outward, and maintain your elbows tight as you decrease your physique. Works your triceps like loopy.

#5) Dive-Bomber Push-Ups – funky, tough, however oh so enjoyable. I’d clarify it, however simply watch the video

#6) Plyometric Push-Ups – these are brutal and can put on you out simply after just a few repetitions. Simply don’t harm your self and smash your face throughout a failed try (not that I’ve ever finished that. Shut up my face at all times seems to be like this)!

#7) Handstand Push-Ups – This goes with out saying, however you need to be capable to do a correct handstand earlier than trying these!

Kick up towards a wall, and with out flailing your elbows approach out to the facet (which might wreak havoc in your shoulders and elbow joints), slowly decrease your self down till your head touches the bottom softly.

Then increase your self again up.

Rotate a few of these superior push-ups into your exercise routine and also you’ll be effectively in your approach to an amazing power coaching observe.

If you would like extra power constructing suggestions, we even have a complete information, Power Coaching 101: Every thing You Must Know, whenever you join the Insurrection (that’s our neighborhood) beneath:

Methods to Get Higher at Push-Ups

These LEGO characters love to stay fit doing the beginner bodyweight workout

So that you’ve discovered how one can do a push-up, you are able to do just a few of them, however you need to get higher! 

Listed here are some suggestions that can assist you alongside the way in which:

  1. Get wholesome! As you drop some weight (which is 80% vitamin!), you’ll have to transfer much less weight round than earlier than, which can make your push-ups simpler to handle. Have you ever had hassle shedding weight up to now? Take a look at our article “Why Can’t I Lose Weight?” to seek out out why.
  2. Don’t cheat on the previous couple of push-ups – whenever you’re drained, it’s simple to skip out on good kind on your previous few reps. As quickly as you do one dangerous kind push-up, you’re finished. End up your 4 units, write down your numbers, and attempt to beat these numbers subsequent time.
  3. When beginning out don’t do push-ups two days in a row. You must give your muscle tissue time to rebuild and recuperate – take off at the least 48 hours in between your push-up journey. Nonetheless, when push-ups grew to become a warm-up train for you – you are able to do them each day if you’d like. Should you’re superior, you’ll be able to contemplate a PLP program.
  4. Get sufficient protein into your system after ending up your exercise – protein helps rebuild the muscle tissue you simply broke down doing push-ups, and it helps them rebuild those self same muscle tissue stronger than earlier than. You’ll be able to learn our final information on protein for some tips about how one can up your protein consumption.
  5. If you are able to do 4 units of 20-25 good kind push-ups no sweat, then it’s time to begin wanting into push-up variations to maintain issues fascinating.
  6. Construct up your core with planks – it will assist maintain your core robust in order that it’s not the weakest hyperlink in your correct kind push-ups.

Coach Staci showing you the front plant

These 6 suggestions will probably be an amazing addition to your power coaching plan. Maintain at it and earlier than you realize it you’ll be doing one-arm push-ups like Batman.

One arm push-ups are hardcore, which is why Batman does them.

What’s that? You don’t have a strength-building plan!!! Properly then…

What’s Your Power Constructing Plan?

Once you get comfortable with regular push-ups, you can try plyometric push ups like this.

It makes me unhappy once we get emails from individuals who wrestle and try to work laborious to get more healthy, and to be higher at push-ups, and simply can’t appear to make any progress.

If that’s you, you’re not alone!

1) Take into account working with a web-based coach (or in-person coach).

Serving to individuals be taught push-ups and different body weight workouts is why we constructed our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program: We construct packages for busy individuals to chop by the noise and simply get outcomes

2) Exercising at dwelling and want a plan to comply with? Take a look at Nerd Health Journey!

Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra incessantly, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually).

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

3) Be a part of our neighborhood! Now we have lots of of 1000’s of individuals, and I ship out two free emails each week to assist them stage up their lives. Be a part of our free neighborhood at present, and I’ll ship you a dozen free ebooks, together with TONS of exercise plans you are able to do anytime, anyplace. 

Be a part of the neighborhood by signing up within the field beneath:

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT: go dwelling, arrange a digital camera, and verify your kind in your push-ups.

I hope you’ll discover that your kind is nearly as good as you anticipated, but it surely’s okay if it’s not, it’ll offer you one thing to work on.

Go do some push-ups, and work on getting higher with them each day.

You’ll be shifting from Stage 1 to Stage 4 push-ups and past!


PS: To not brag, however I typed this whole article whereas doing 1-handed push-ups. 

PPS: Okay no I didn’t. However it might have been cool if I did, proper?

PPPS: No? Advantageous. Sigh.


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