What is a perfect pushup and are you doing it right?
Pushups are often looked at as an arm exercise, but a proper pushup can give you a full-body workout. It's more than just supporting your bodyweight with your arms while you push up and down, but most people don't look beyond this and end up forfeiting a quality workout. Are you one of them? Read on for a breakdown of what makes for a perfect pushup and our recommended variations to keep it interesting.
The Perfect Pushup Guidelines
1. Set up the perfect pushup form from the start. Position your hands directly below your chest approximately shoulder-width apart. Position your feet approximately hips-width apart and parallel with each other. Keep your back neutral and your head aligned with your spine, not looking left or right, up ahead, or dipping downward. Lastly, your hips should stay level and in alignment with your shoulders not letting them lean to the right or left or dip.
2. Engage the entire body. This is important in order to get a full-body workout. Squeeze your glutes, press into your palms, tighten your core, including your pecs, abs, and more. Also make sure to engage the entirety of your arms, pressing through your palms evenly and activating your arm muscles.
3. Maintain fluidity and cohesiveness in your movement. Lower your body and head to the floor while maintaining alignment. Do not drop your hips, head, or knees. Move fluidly with your whole body working together while not letting one part drop lower than another.
4. When returning to your start position follow all the previous rules. Maintain form, engage the whole body, and move fluidly.
5. Timing can make a difference. Lower yourself four times slower than you press yourself up hovering at the low point for a second or two while you stay engaged.
6. If regular pushups are too difficult for you at present don't do knee pushups. Instead, try incline pushups. Place your hands on an elevated surface and perform the pushups from there using all the previously mentioned rules.
Explosive Incline Pushups
Leg Raised Pushup
Dumbbell Deficit Pushups
Step Through Pushups
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