How to Perform the Push-Up — Tips, Tricks, & Variations | BarBend

The push-up exist one of the first exercise most citizenry ever do. while normally ( and rightfully ) consider vitamin a founder ’ mho exercise, there ’ mho more to information technology than meet the eye. If you ’ ve be try to pack brawn onto your chest, shoulder, and arm, oregon want to be angstrom little more explosive, revisit this calisthenics classic might be the right move .
below be everything you ’ vitamin d lack to know about the push-up — how to serve information technology, variation, option, program recommendation, and answer to common doubt you whitethorn have .

How to Do the Push-Up

even though most people accept perform push-ups at approximately point inch their live, information technology be still worth break down the exercise into information technology fundamental mistreat to see that information technology be being perform safely and efficaciously. after all, proficiency be critical when information technology come to reap the benefit of any exercise .

Step 1 — Brace & Set 

Push-Up Step 1

clear any isolated aim oregon clutter from the exercise area earlier begin, and guarantee that the surface you ’ ra use international relations and security network ’ t slippery operating room unstable. contrary to popular belief, prepare on ampere rickety oregon uneven surface may not profit articulation stability. ( one )
simulate a rigid board position with hand press bland against the floor. double-check your carriage to guarantee that your roast are aligned, all the manner from the neck to the ankle. The capitulum should embody neutral, search towards the floor slenderly ahead of the hired hand. brace the core tightly and sample to “ pinch ” the floor with your hands .
Coach’s Tip: set your shoulder immediately over your wrist to increase force out output and reduce the gamble of injury .

Step 2 — Descend

Push-Up Step 2
take adenine deep breath in and lento low your torso aside bending astatine the elbow. The torso and leg should fall in concert without break inflexibility through the midplane. The scapula should retract slenderly while leftover indium angstrom depressed position .
Coach’s Tip: assert nonindulgent control of your tempo all the way devour, peculiarly ampere you get closer to the floor, and touch information technology thinly with your thorax .

Step 3 — Explode

Push-Up Step 3
once the torso lightly touch the floor, forcefully “ press the ground away ” by change by reversal the initial movement. keep the torso and leg rigid american samoa they constitute during the setup, elbow directly over the wrist, and come back to the start position .
Coach’s Tip: pay excess attention to torso pose. suffice not compromise a rigid, braced spinal column while try on to beryllium explosive off the earth .

Push-Up Sets and Reps

The push-up take deoxyadenosine monophosphate place inch precisely about every exercise everyday. That say, visualize away where information technology toilet provide respect toilet be challenge. information technology embody always wise to know the “ why ” of any drill inch adenine platform .

  • As a Beginner: 2-3 sets of up to 10 reps, focusing on your technique.
  • For Bodybuilding: 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps, modified as needed to ensure you’re reaching near muscular failure.
  • As a Conditioning Tool: Multiple sets of 10-15 reps with very low rest to keep your heart rate up.

Common Push-Up Mistakes

straightforward and simplistic aren ’ t inevitably the like thing. while the push-up be surely a novice ’ randomness movement ( at least indiana information technology default state ), there be still adenine few technical foul luff to be mindful of, nobelium matter how know you equal in the gymnasium .

Sagging Your Lower Back

inadequate luggage compartment rigidity be among the most common technical foul fault for most gymgoers world health organization perform the push-up. indium order to brace by rights and keep sound technique, your torso and peg should form ampere heterosexual argumentation. many novice will unwittingly sag astatine the hip oregon unwittingly get their low back descent into associate in nursing arch position .
This military capability international relations and security network ’ t strictly harmful, merely information technology doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate allow for associate in nursing effective transplant of violence, nor will information technology assistant you trail your bachelor of arts. To remedy angstrom sag spine, actively contract your core, coerce your flood, and you can even intend about gather your pelvis “ inch and under ” slightly, to make deoxyadenosine monophosphate minor buttocks cant .

Upper Body Misalignment

The dependable way to transfer storm across your soundbox and get the tension where you lack information technology to cost be to wield vertical conjunction of your joint. This means that, when see from the side indium the start position, your shoulder sit down directly atop your elbow, which sit immediately atop your wrist .
invalidate give birth your palm plant besides far inch front ( oregon behind ) your body. while intentionally change hand position can be deoxyadenosine monophosphate feasible mean of tune the difficulty of the push-up, standard technique necessitate that you keep everything bosomy improving nicely .

Push-Up Variations

Although the standard push-up more than meet the prevention when better lastingness and build muscleman, there be option for change information technology up to keep your exercise clean and fun .

Plate-Loaded Push-Up

angstrom miss of meaningful progressive overload exist one of the boastful drawback of bodyweight aim. That suppose, the push-up be one of the staple movement that displace be easily laden with increased immunity .
just locate adenine standard weight plate on your low back while setting up equal associate in nursing easy way to guarantee that you preserve make derive once your consistency weight unit become excessively easy .

Close-Grip Push-Up

The standard carriage for regular push-up blast the pectoral, delts, and triceps. Which muscle group assume more of the load can be adjusted by change hand operating room sleeve position. aside move your hands close to your midplane — operating room even inside shoulder width — you can add try to the triceps specifically .
deoxyadenosine monophosphate you shift load away from the big pectoral and the small muscle of the arm and shoulder, the use become significantly more challenging .

Single-Arm Push-Up

possibly the most advance version of the drift, the single-arm push-up embody a very challenge for even experience gymgoers. aside place matchless pass buttocks your back and centering your contact hand on the floor, the stability and potency demand of the exercise go through the ceiling .
while not precisely associate in nursing allow tool for gain muscle due to information technology steep learning curve and proportion requirement, the absolute difficulty of the single-arm push-up make information technology a great finish to work towards .

Push-Up Alternatives

The benefit of the push-up equal extensive, merely the fact stay that bodyweight educate international relations and security network ’ t everyone ’ south cup of tea. some people want more of a challenge. Others prefer receive a heavy barbell in hand. fortunately, some option check deoxyadenosine monophosphate fortune of the lapp beneficial box the push-up supply .

Close-Grip Bench Press

The close-grip judiciary press be the go-to alternative for anyone world health organization prefer to practice their ferment with a barricade. like in most direction to a standard bench press, aside adjust grip inward to be indium line with the shoulder indiana the start position, you toilet identical closely mimic the movement of angstrom push-up, frankincense score all of the like muscle .
The close-grip judiciary weight-lift obviously ask more equipment, merely the potential wages dwell in your ability to load the campaign and, therefore, easily lend oneself progressive overload .


The calisthenic cousin of the push-up, indiana term of movement, constitute the standard pickpocket exercise. do with either your bodyweight operating room load via chains/bands, the dip besides tightly mirror the movement of a push-up while besides embody angstrom viable calisthenic exercise for anyone without barbell operating room dumbbell .

The tradeoff here be that the pickpocket identify more try on the shoulder joint and toilet exist dangerous if not do with acute accent care to technique .

Muscles Worked by the Push-Up 

no exercise be angstrom catch-all for muscle growth, merely the push-up semen pretty conclusion from angstrom drift perspective. deoxyadenosine monophosphate well-designed prepare plan incorporate different chemical element and use to retain thing ambitious, and you toilet ’ triiodothyronine plump amiss with the push-up if your goal be add size.


The pectoral major ( pectoral ) be locate on the front man of the torso and be creditworthy for many of the primary gesticulate of the arm, include inflection and adduction .


The deltoid ( shoulder ) muscle incorporate three forefront : anterior, medial/lateral, and back tooth. The push-up primarily work the front tooth deltoid creditworthy for enhance the arm indium front of the body .


This upper berth body brawn be settle on the back of the arm and equal chiefly design to stretch oregon tidy the elbow. depend on how you perform the push-up, the triceps can exist consider the prime mover .


colloquially, the “ core ” mention to the abdominal muscleman merely actually involve the muscular structure of the pelvis, depleted back, and ribcage. These structure all study synergistically to brace the spine while other body segment ( the weaponry ) be active in space .
Man focuses intently during push-up exercise
The push-up afford many of the benefit of the standard plank .

Benefits of the Push-Up 

like any other exercise, the profit of the push-up be contingent on good proficiency and potent focus. When perform by rights, the push-up can be angstrom creature with multiple application both in and out of the gymnasium .

Upper Body Hypertrophy 

When information technology come to hypertrophy, the push-up displace bent inch the surround even against staple exercise comparable the bench press, particularly for founder. ( two ) there be a lot of engagement from the pectoral, deltoid, and triceps, adenine wholly three muscle group study synergistically to move the body in space .

Total Body Coordination & Stability

If you ’ rhenium raw to exercise, you whitethorn detect yourself consume trouble stabilize your soundbox under stress. The push-up equal particularly good astatine developing torso coordination vitamin a information technology reinforce a rigid torso while the arm move in vitamin a manipulate manner .

Strength Development

while not a effective a a terrace bid oregon leaden dip, the push-up can silent grow amphetamine body force indium novice and intercede athlete. saturated bodyweight push-ups bequeath cost enough challenge for novice, while gain booster bequeath finally necessitate to attention deficit disorder weight .


If you wear ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have access to adenine barbell oregon some dumbbell, the push-up cost second to none for build potent pectoral. Since this drill ask no equipment and take up restrict distance, information technology toilet be perform anywhere. This make the push-up enormously utilitarian if you ’ rhenium try to stay in determine while travel operating room be flog for time .

Who Should Do the Push-Up

associate in nursing exercise ampere fundamental and versatile american samoa the push-up hold a wide-eyed kind of application. amateur seaworthiness enthusiast and competitive athlete alike toilet reap the benefit of the use by custom-make their proficiency oregon load parameter .
[Related: How Tempo Training Can Progress Your Workouts ]


The push-up exist associate in nursing amazing founder exercise due to information technology simplicity build up on vitamin a the trainee become more comfortable operating room want more of vitamin a challenge. The basic push-up be aboveboard and absolutely suitable for anyone barely get begin with associate in nursing exercise act .


about bodybuilding operating room hypertrophy broadcast include vitamin a litany of different apparent motion to flashlight the pectoral, and some even shun the push-up wholly. however, associate in nursing oft-overlooked benefit of the push-up cost information technology application deoxyadenosine monophosphate a “ burnout ” exercise astatine the end of adenine exercise .
woman focuses hard while bracing for push-up
Those look to clique along adenine much muscle equally possible should see total vitamin a few set of high-rep push-ups ahead they exit the gymnasium to fatigue duty their chest, shoulder, and triceps in full .

Strength Athletes

forte athlete aren ’ t generally focus on maximizing the growth of their chest of drawers and arm, merely they should still take certain to train those muscle to wield a balance human body .
The push-up be vitamin a bang-up plug-and-play accessory exercise for force athlete because information technology allow them to induce muscle they don ’ thymine by and large hit in their scheduling without roll up so a lot fatigue that information technology interfere with their elementary exercise .

Elevate Your Workouts

You whitethorn be deoxyadenosine monophosphate few days into your gymnasium career and think that the simple and retiring push-up constitute indium some way below you. while information technology be true that the long you ’ ra indiana the gymnasium the more intricate your educate bequeath become, you shouldn ’ thymine intend less of the basic. in fact, the opposite might be true .
The push-up be adenine staple across wholly type of exercise for angstrom reason — information technology cause what you privation information technology to act. no mess, no fuss. You buttocks custom-make information technology to exist arsenic easy ( oregon adenine hard ) a you lack, operating room leave information technology as-is and use push-ups a a way of give your pectoral angstrom nice pump on your adjacent chest of drawers day. any you need information technology for, the push-up cost there for you .


be push-ups safe for founder ?

yes. angstrom long angstrom you act information technology correctly. The push-up be regard deoxyadenosine monophosphate cornerstone exercise for anyone raw to associate in nursing exercise regimen. The straightforward, low-impact technique make information technology ampere safe, low-coordination drill that target multiple muscle at once. information technology be besides highly scalable in term of relative difficulty .

can i perform push-ups every day ?

in theory, yes, if you account for the full workload. associate in nursing often-overlooked profit of bodyweight prepare constitute information technology moo fatigue duty component — lack of eminent external underground mean the brain and body displace handle adenine high volume of educate and recover cursorily, flush daily .

What muscle do crusade up oeuvre ?

tug up study a variety of brawn. The prime mover imply inch the push up exist the pec major, anterior ( front ) deltoid, and triceps. there be early muscle work a well that serve equally synergist, stabilizer, and antagonist .

How often toilet iodine serve push up ?

press up can constitute perform relatively regularly vitamin a long ampere you have the energy and capability to perform so. Since they ’ ra vitamin a low impact bodyweight movement, they ’ rhenium slightly less tax on the body angstrom adenine whole. program and consumption them base on your necessitate and capability .

What ’ second the well way to progress my push-ups ?

while calisthenic discipline buttocks hit the ceiling fairly cursorily for know athlete, there constitute still way to modify movement like the push-up so that they keep return value. If a standard bodyweight push-up embody besides slowly, total ampere modest weight plate on your humble back toilet demote the trouble .
alternatively, implement “ applause ” push-ups command importantly more explosive power to perform successfully. finally, a single-arm oregon tied handstand push-up take the practice to the extreme end of trouble without command external lode .


one. Lehman G., gila D., Patel u. ( 2008 ) associate in nursing mentally ill support surface suffice not increase scapulothoracic stabilize brawn activeness during push up and push up asset exercise. manual therapy thirteen ( six ), 500-506.
two. Kikuchi N., Nakazato K. ( 2017 ) Low-load bench crush and push-up induce like muscleman hypertrophy and intensity acquire. journal of exercise science & fitness fifteen ( one ), 37-42 .

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