The push-up should be a part of every training program and is vastly more effective in improving fitness than the increasingly popular bench press. Very few people have achieved mastery of the push-up, although many think they have. Done correctly, the push-up is a demanding whole-body movement. The push-up also serves as a gateway and prerequisite for the more challenging handstand push-up.
Requirements for all variations of push-ups: thighs, chest and chin touch the floor simultaneously at the bottom of each rep; full elbow extension at the top of each rep.
Here are a few tips to perfect your push-up:
- The body should remain in a completely straight and rigid line throughout the movement
- Don't let your hips sag or stick your butt in the air
- Keep your head in a neutral position looking straight ahead
- Don't "reach" towards the ground with your chin - stay in rigid line
- Don't let your head drop - keep looking at the ground just slightly ahead of you
- Try different hand positions (wide, narrow, closer to your hips, etc)
Scale the push-up to meet your ability level by placing your knees on the ground. All the requirements of the push-up remain the same. Work on this variation until you can complete 10 full range of motion push-ups before moving on to the standard push-up.
The standard push-up is shown below: