October 11, 2015
By Gary Miller
The push up may just be the perfect exercise that builds both upper body and core strength. Done properly, it is a compound exercise that uses muscles in the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and even the legs.
How to Do a Perfect Push Up
Get on the floor on all fours, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
Extend your legs back so that you are balanced on your hands and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe without sagging in the middle or arching your back. You can position you feet to be close together or a bit wider depending upon what is most comfortable for you.
Before you begin any movement, contract your abs and tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine. Keep a tight core throughout the entire push up.
Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle.
Exhale as you begin contracting your chest muscles and pushing back up through your hands to the start position. Don't lock out the elbows; keep them slightly bent.
Repeat for as many repetitions as your workout routine requires.
How to Do More Push Ups
You can use a few simple strategies to build your strength and endurance in order to do more push ups. This is useful for those who have to pass a fitness test (such as the Army Physical Fitness Test). It takes time, effort and a systematic approach, but doing more push ups is not impossible.
One strategy that is popular and that numerous online fitness challenges are based on is the One More Push-up a Day approach.
This is when on day one you do one push-up, then on day two you do two push-ups, and so on.