Master the Move | The Pushup

by Tim DiFrancesco
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Master the Move | The Pushup

The classic pushup is often taken for granted, but if you give it a chance — and do it right — you won’t be disappointed. Most people assume pushups are simply an upper-body exercise. While they definitely target your chest and arms, they also challenges your core, hips and glutes.

Mastering the pushup helps you train your upper body, core and lower body to function as one while developing better overall stability and strength.

BREAKING DOWN THE PUSHUP

Here are five keys to mastering perfect form:

1. HEAD POSITION

Keep your chin tucked gently in a double-chin position.

2. ARM PLACEMENT

Keep your arms just slightly away from your body. Shoot for having the elbows point at a 45-degree angle.

3. HIP ACTION

Squeeze your glutes tight for the duration of the exercise. Avoid letting your lower back sag or getting into an extended position.

4. CORE PURPOSE

Keep your core short or engaged. Do this by imagining you’re about to take a punch to the stomach.

5. RANGE OF MOTION

Don’t go all the way to the floor; this can cause stress on the front of your shoulders. Push your chest all the way away from the floor at the top of the pushup.


READ MORE MASTER THE MOVE

> Lunge
> Burpee


PUSHUP VARIATIONS

These exercises help you develop upper-body strength, shoulder stability and core endurance. Use these exercises as you progress to doing flat/floor pushups, which pair well with grip dominant exercises like rows or loaded carries.

INCLINE PUSHUP

By placing your hands on an elevated surface you will be able to do more repetitions with better form as you work toward building up to a classic floor pushup. Do 2–4 sets of 8–20 repetitions.

PUSHUP WITH ISO HOLD

The isometric hold gives you more time under tension in the pushup position. Adding time under tension helps you build control and improve overall form. Do 2–4 sets of 8–20 repetitions.

BAND ASSISTED PUSHUP

By applying the band assistance around your chest, you’ll be able to do more repetitions with better form as you work to improve your classic pushup form. Do 2–4 sets of 8–20 repetitions.

PUSHUP PROGRESSIONS

This is a progression from the classic pushup. These exercises target your chest, arms and core and helps you develop upper-body strength, shoulder stability and core endurance. Do 2–4 sets of 8–20 repetitions.

BAND RESISTED PUSHUP

DECLINE PUSHUP

SPIDERMAN PUSHUP

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