Originally published Jan, 17 2017. Updated Jan 2020
Check with your physician before starting any new workout or exercise program.
The push-up…if you were in the military like I was, brings back a lot of memories….and not all of them good! “Drop and give me twenty!” still has an effect on me even after all these years! The below picture is from the day I graduated from AIT training at Fort Jackson, S.C. The Drill Sergent dropped the new class for the graduates! At this point they had been holding it for a few minutes and if you’ve never done it…IT’S HARD!!! Hence all the swaying backs and butts in the air!!
Over the years I’ve come to love the push-up because it really is the ultimate exercise. It targets many different muscle groups in one move. Chest, shoulders, arms, back, abdominal area, butt, and legs. It truly is the all-over body exercise.
There are also many different variations of the push-up.
- incline push-up
- decline push-up
- wide stance push-up
- one arm push-up
The proper way to do a push up is to get down on the floor with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and being up on your toes. In this position there should be a straight line from your head to your feet.
For beginners, there is no shame in starting on your knees. Bring your feet up at a ninety degree angle with the your weight being just above your knee caps to keep from putting too much pressure on the knees.
And if that’s too much for you try leaning into a wall. To do this you want to stand facing a wall and lean into the wall as shown.
When going down you want to focus your eyes about 2-3 inches in front of you. As you lower your chest, keep your abdominals tight and it helps me when I tighten my glutes (butt) as well. Inhale as you go down and exhale as you come up. Move slowly throughout the exercise.
Start off with just a few and work your way up. As I said before, if need be, start of with the beginner push-up on your knees or the wall. Proper form is key with any exercise so make sure you are keeping your back and legs straight, your head in line with your heals.
Disclaimer: Please, please, please check with your doctor before starting any new workout or doing any exercises you aren’t used to. We don’t want any injuries!
I’d love for you to share what your favorite exercise is. Share with us in the comments section below. And sign up for my newsletter and get the latest information from this site. Good health to all of you!