6 Ways To Perfect That Push-Up
STORY: Farhan Shafie
20 February 2019
ILLUSTRATION: HO LER LIM
Push-ups might seem like a no brainer of an exercise but don’t be easily deceived by their relative simplicity. There are some amongst us who are barely getting the basics right. So, if you’ve been hearing a lot of ‘No count!’ in your lives lately, here are 6 pro tips that you can implement to train your push ups effectively.
1. Plant your hands and feet
By anchoring your palms and toes to the ground and really screwing it in as if you are trying to rotate an imaginary door, you will create a natural tension in your body that will help you maintain the proper form. (But if you can feel yourself starting to go numb, that means you’ve overdone it.)
2. Keep your arms close to your body
While keeping your arms shoulder width to your feet will ensure those PTIs get off your case, this will also keep your upper body and lats in prime condition to bust out those multiple reps.
3. Squeeze your glutes and clench your stomach
Contrary to what you might believe, your lower body does play an important role in perfecting your push up even if it is more of an upper body work out. The locking of your hips will reduce the pressure off your lower back while also activating your core. So let those other muscles shoulder the load as well.
4. Use your breathing to your advantage
Say it with me: inhale when you go down. Exhale as you go up. Keep your breathing in sync with your movements. It can actually help to stabilize your body as you perform your push up whilst also push you to squeeze out that one extra agonizing rep.
5. Pull your chest close to the floor
Lead with your chest to ensure a proper push-up form. So, no more head-flopping or hip-sagging. Be mindful to keep your chest close to the ground as you go down to at least the distance of a fist.
6. Lift as one unit
As you are pumping out those reps it is normal for your body to tire after a while causing you to perform your push-ups half-heartedly. But it is paramount that you maintain your form. To do so, lift up your body together at one go and keep your muscles engaged.