Press ups, push ups, whatever you prefer to call them, are one of the best exercises you should be doing. They’ve been a staple in people’s training plans since the dawn of fitness and are a great compound exercise that you can do anywhere. They can however, prove difficult for people to master as they require good upper body and core strength to get the best out of them.
If you’re new to them or you still find yourself struggling to master them then try these five tips that are guaranteed to help you see a huge difference in no time!
1. Work your way up to the floor
If you’re new to press ups or they hurt to do, you should perform elevated press ups on a smith machine bar, so you can re-learn proper positioning. That is, with a rigid back, hands under shoulders, and tight glutes and core. As you get stronger, lower the bar, then progress to the floor.
2. Keep your core active
When you think about it, a press up is a moving plank. And as with planks, when you fatigue, your glutes can sag, causing you to lose proper shoulder positioning, which isn’t good for the joints. The solution: practice planks by holding them in 10-to-20 seconds intervals.
3. Don’t shrug
By twisting your hands into the floor, you lock your shoulders and scapula into place, which helps you avoid shrugging your shoulders. This common press up mistake puts your shoulder joint in a perilous position.
4. Hand placement
Ensure that your hands are squarely under your shoulders, not in front of them as they are when you perform a downward dog pose. You want your press up to look like a bench press; elbows in tight and hands next to your chest.
5. Get down lower
A lot of people cheat their range of motion on the press up just as often, which takes away from all its benefits. You should lower yourself until your chest is practically touching your hands. If this is too painful, then lower until your upper arm breaks 90 degrees.