The push up is one of the most well known exercises you can find. The act of doing a push up, is essentially holding yourself in a plank position facing the ground, then lowering your body toward the ground by flexing your elbows and extending your shoulders. After your body reaches the ground, you press yourself back up and away from the ground by flexing your shoulders and extending your elbows. Seems simple enough right?
The push up is unique, it is the most basic form of pushing mechanics you can perform without any equipment. The beautiful thing is, it can be done any time, any where! The push up is extremely transferable to movements we perform in and out of the gym, and is fundamental to the handstand push up.
Let’s go over the push up shall we:
- Starting in a plank position with your hands splayed, elbows locked and shoulders above your knuckles or midhand. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe. Neck neutral, back flat, and hips neutral. Knees are locked out and balls of your feet supporting your body.
- Bend your elbows to initiate the descent, fighting to keep your elbows on top of your wrists. The elbows should be close into the ribcage, careful not to splay the elbows out.
- As you reach the ground, your head remains in line with your body position (Ex. no flexing your neck). Allow the belly, ups and thoughts to touch the ground, but keep everything else except your feet on the gourd.
- Initiate the ascent by pressing away from the ground, fighting to keep your elbows in the same vertical position.
- Finish in full lockout…AKA plank position.
There are also a few modifications for the push up if that’s something you are still working on. Wall push ups and box push ups are great at building the strength required for the standard push up.