How To Do a Push-Up Properly And Increase Your Upper Body Strength
The push-up is a simple and highly effective foundational movement, serving as an essential building block for loaded pushing, as well as inverted moves such as the handstand.
It is widely regarded as a benchmark movement for upper body strength and is easily adaptable for any level of fitness.
Start in a plank position with arms straight, shoulders above wrists, and body in a straight line. Engage the core and glutes.
Keeping the shoulders over the wrists, lower the whole body towards the floor, dropping comfortably as low as you can.
Push the body upwards and return to the start position. Repeat for desired reps or time.
From a very early age, the ability to push our body away from the ground was a pre-adaptation to crawling. In fitness and sports training, the push-up is, therefore, a foundational movement – which means that you can build other bodyweight skills upon it.
Any bodyweight-supported exercises can be demanding for your wrists and hands – which is actually an excellent reason to perform them. However, take time to warm up the wrists with some gentle mobility if you’re planning to do more push-ups than usual.
As your strength improves, play around with hand position and speed of movement (e.g. close or wide grip push-ups, or explosive push-ups). Practising these variations will build high-levels of resilience and decrease your injury risk.
When progressing with the push-up, remember that it’s not about scoring points, but instead to develop skill and control. Make push-ups an integral part of your training program and watch your strength improve quickly.