How to Do Pushups With Variations and Modifications
Pushups are a powerful total body exercise, building strength and endurance in the chest, shoulders and arms, with the core and lower body acting as stabilizers. Pushups are a favorite go-to exercise, whether you're traveling with no equipment or want an exercise that will fire your muscle fibers, pump blood to your muscles and prepare you for the workout to come. They can be an important part of any strength training routine because they work multiple muscle groups, giving you more out of your training in less time. Even better, there are so many variations that almost anyone, from beginner to advanced exercisers, can find a version that works for them.
The Problem With Pushups
While pushups are an excellent exercise, it's easy to make mistakes and put your body at risk for injury and pain by doing them incorrectly. Pushups require a good deal of upper body strength as well as a very strong core to brace your body as you move up and down. If you're new to pushups, you may need to start with a modification to build strength and endurance and practice your form.
This step by step article explains everything you need to know about pushups: How to do them correctly, variations, modifications, alternatives and mistakes that can put added stress on your body.
In step one, we focus on traditional pushups.
- Begin on your hands an knees, placing your hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart, palms flat.
- Extend the legs straight, resting on your toes. Make sure your hands are directly under the shoulders (not forward).
- Brace your abs and legs to stiffen the torso and keep the neck in neutral alignment so that your body is in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
- Bend the elbows, allowing them to flare naturally out to the sides, and lower your body until the nose touches the floor. Keep your torso rigid and avoid sagging in the middle or piking the hips up.
- Push into the floor to push yourself back to starting position, continuing to keep the torso and legs braced. Push all the way up, but don't lock the elbows at the top of the movement.
- Continue moving up and down in a flowing motion, avoiding pausing at the top of the movement.
- If you're not able to do the move without lifting the hips or sagging through the middle, try a modification and slowly work your way up to traditional pushups.
Video: 4 Pushup Variations WAY BETTER Than the Original!
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