Pushups are great way to build strength, increase endurance, burn fat, and lose weight. It is also easy to do them improperly, this can lead to injury and loss of training time which won't help you reach your health goals. Read along for a quick tutorial on how to do a pushup without injury.
Step 1. Get set up.
Put your hands under your shoulders with your fingertips pointed away from your feet. Straighten your arms, push your upper body away from your hands, brace your abdominals, keep your knees straight. The closer your feet are to each other, the more difficult it is.
Step 2. Lowering yourself into the pushup.
Slowly lower yourself down to the ground so that your nose almost touches the floor, feel your shoulder blades (middle of your back) carefully come together on the way down. DO NOT elevate your shoulders. DO NOT let your elbows go out and make a T shape, this is how you can smoke your rotator cuff. Your elbows should stay fairly close to your body without touching your shirt.
Step 3. Return to starting position
Using your chest and triceps, drive your body back up to starting position faster than you lowered yourself. Keep your core engaged so that your low back does not bend excessively. You should feel your chest and triceps working and not your shoulders (very much).
If you find these pushups more difficult, try doing them on your knees or on a raised stable surface. You can do pushups as part of a circuit of exercises. Check out my post on how to do an at home workout, and work these pushups into your routine without trashing your shoulders.
Certified Personal Trainer and Movement Training Specialist
River Valley Club