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Blog The ImPECcable Push-Up Guide | Part 1



The ImPECcable Push-Up Guide | Part 1

  • by David O' Connor
  • August 12, 2016

So, The Mighty Push-Up..

A staple in most peoples training programs, or at least it should be.

But the simple fact is, out of every 10 Men I ask to do a Push-Up, 1 can do it with proper form and technique. Ladies it’s no different, we may need to start at an ‘easier’ level than off the floor, but the principles are the same – most people end up looking like some sort of flying chicken wing than a push-up. 

Or if you’ve ever seen a ‘stock image’ of a push-up, most of the time they’re not even doing a right push-up with hips sagging down letting the back take the pressure & elbows flaring right out to the sides adding extra stress to the shoulder joint,

(Image Courtesy of Livestrong.com)

Saying all that, I won’t be going through, “It works this muscle and that muscle” etc. etc. so let’s get to why this blog is here & what your takeaway’s will be:

  • How to actually do a Proper Push-Up
  • The Proper Mechanics Involved

Then we’ll visit Regressions & Progressions in Part 2,

Because we see some funny looking push-ups from time to time & we want people to know how to get their body into a good position before starting to wreck it..

Or else you can ignore this post and continue dry humping the floor & end up with wrecked shoulders – Your Call…

So first, it’s the basic’s;

  • Hands underneath the Shoulders – Neutral Spine.
  • Externally Rotate & ‘Screw your hands’ into the floor.
  • Brace the Abs/Glutes – BE Rock Solid – Feet Close Together.
  • Forearms vertical as you descend, driving back up keeping your body ‘tight’ throughout.

And here’s a visual breakdown;

Even though this seems easy, have someone make sure you do it right – not as easy when you don’t know what position your body is in.. 

So practice the above & ingrain it into yourself. 

THEN..Don’t be that Guy (OR LADY)!

Then it comes to the big ‘NO-NO’s’…

1: The Elbows flaring out. Unless your wanting to punish your shoulders, please don’t do this.

Remember screw the hands into the floor, get those shoulders in a good position & generate a powerful external rotation torque force. (Fancier Term for it)

Think about it – a bullet doesn’t come out of a gun just straight out. It generates more power by rotating through the barrel.

(Image Courtesy of bulletin.accurateshooter.com)

A good position for your elbows is roughly 45 degrees with your sides. But as long you screw your hands into the ground & ‘Show your elbow pits forward’ all should be good.

2: Lower Back SagsRemember, keep them Glutes & Abs braced rock solid.


“Think Chest First”

This could also be a stability issue commonly seen in women which will be looked at in part 2. 

3: Head crocked down. This just looks terrible.


Here is a nice little tip – make a double chin. Easy. Keep from head to toe as straight as you can..


So, there you have it, part 1 on some simple push-up mechanics. The Meat & bones needed to get you started,

By following these simple points you should be keeping the wrists, shoulders and elbows good and healthy. (Provided you don’t have any severely restricting mobility problems).

Stay Tuned for Part 2 where we’ll run through some regressions for those not able to get a full push-up yet & progressions for those that can knock out push-ups Easily.

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David O' Connor
CEO | Head Coach
David's passion lies in coaching you through the easiest path to losing weight, toning up & getting back the confidence that's been hiding for a while. Head Coach & Head of Nutrition at Doc Fitness, if you don't find him there, he's probably training, sipping coffee writing Nutrition articles or playing Hurling for Ballinderreen.