How To Properly Do A Push Up

Push ups are one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the upper body. They work the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. However, many people do push ups incorrectly, which can lead to injury or lack of results. In this article, we will discuss how to properly do a push up.

The Proper Push Up Form

To perform a push up, start in the plank position, with your hands shoulder-width apart, and your feet together. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Keep your core tight, and your elbows close to your body. Lower your body until your chest touches the ground, and then push back up to the starting position. This is one repetition.

The Common Push Up Mistakes

Many people make the mistake of flaring their elbows out to the sides, which puts unnecessary strain on the shoulders. Another common mistake is letting the hips sag or raising the hips too high, which puts stress on the lower back. To avoid these mistakes, keep your elbows close to your body, and engage your core muscles throughout the movement.

The Benefits of Push Ups

Push ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength, but they also have other benefits. They improve posture, increase bone density, and boost metabolism. Push ups can also be done anywhere, without the need for equipment.

How to Increase the Difficulty of Push Ups

If you want to challenge yourself and increase the difficulty of push ups, there are several variations you can try. One is the diamond push up, where you place your hands close together in a diamond shape. Another is the decline push up, where you elevate your feet on a bench or step. You can also try plyometric push ups, where you explode off the ground at the top of the movement.

The Importance of Breathing

Breathing is an important aspect of proper push up form. Inhale as you lower your body towards the ground, and exhale as you push back up. This helps to engage the core muscles and maintain stability throughout the movement.

The Role of the Core Muscles

The core muscles are essential for proper push up form. They help to stabilize the body and prevent the hips from sagging or raising too high. To engage the core muscles, imagine pulling your belly button towards your spine throughout the movement.

Common Push Up FAQ

How many push ups should I do?

The number of push ups you should do depends on your fitness level and goals. A beginner might start with 5-10 push ups, while an advanced athlete might do 50 or more. It’s important to gradually increase the number of reps to avoid injury.

How often should I do push ups?

You can do push ups every day, but it’s important to allow your muscles to rest and recover. Aim for at least 2-3 days of rest between push up workouts.

Can push ups help me lose weight?

Push ups can help to increase metabolism and burn calories, but they should be combined with a healthy diet and other forms of exercise for best results.


Push ups are a simple yet effective exercise for building upper body strength and improving overall fitness. By following proper form and gradually increasing the difficulty, you can achieve great results with this versatile exercise. Remember to breathe properly, engage your core muscles, and avoid common mistakes to get the most out of your push up workout.