FITNESS

How To Do Push-Ups Correctly: 4 Common Mistakes You Make

  • Mistake 1: You're Not Using Your Hands
    1 / 4 Mistake 1: You're Not Using Your Hands

    Don’t just place your palms on the ground and forget about them. Spread your fingers out as wide as you can.

    Grip the floor with your hands and simultaneously drive your palms down and twist them outward as if you were trying to rip the floor between them. Your elbows and biceps should rotate so that they face forward.

    This helps provide more stability in your shoulders and tension throughout your whole body, so you’ll be more solid throughout your pushup.

    Related: Ace Your IPPT: 10 Tips For A Perfect Pushup

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  • Mistake 2: You Let Your Hips Sag
    2 / 4 Mistake 2: You Let Your Hips Sag

    Another common mistake is allowing your hips to fall toward the floor. When this happens, it places a lot of stress on your lower back. It’s also just a passive approach. Get active!

    To break this bad habit, think about bracing your abs and squeezing your abs throughout the movement. Doing so will elicit more full-body tension and help place your pelvis in the proper position.

    Related: The All Push-Up Workout

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  • Mistake 3: You Stick Your Neck Out
    3 / 4 Mistake 3: You Stick Your Neck Out

    Poking your head forward as you lower yourself to the ground will place undue stress on your neck and perpetuate many of the common postural issues guys have from sitting at desks all day long.

    Instead, keep your head behind your chest as you lower yourself toward the floor. Your chest should hit the floor first, not your face.

    Related: WATCH: The Push-Up Workout From Hell

    Photo: Susan Murtaugh, Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

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  • Mistake 4: You're Not Using Your Shoulders
    4 / 4 Mistake 4: You're Not Using Your Shoulders

    When you lower yourself toward the floor, your shoulder blades will retract, or come together. As you push away, however, you should allow your shoulder blades to protract.

    This is often called a “pushup plus.”

    Your shoulder blades are meant to move around your rib cage during a pushup, and keeping them “glued” together throughout can cause some imbalances and shoulder problems down the road.

    Related: The Anarchy Pushup Progression: 3 Moves That Will Build Your Chest

    Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Grace Lee – http://www.luke.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/2013/04/130417-F-NQ441-091.JPG, Public Domain

    By Tony Gentilcore

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