Rebel Leader Steve doing a push-up near some water.

The push-up is among the finest workouts on the planet.

It’s a foundational motion in energy coaching, and an train EVERYBODY ought to be doing recurrently.

Nevertheless, it’s additionally an train that about 95% of individuals get unsuitable and do incorrectly.

Thankfully, after studying at the moment’s final information, you’ll know precisely the way to do a correct push-up with appropriate type:

Earlier than we bounce in, if you happen to’re searching for a technique to prepare wherever (like with push-ups), you might have an interest within the new app we constructed!

Nerd Health Journey will information you thru a exercise routine that may be executed wherever, all whereas creating your very personal superhero!

You can provide it a free take a look at drive proper right here:

Methods to Arrange for a Correct Push-up (Staging)

Steve is setting up a proper push-up in this photo.

In relation to push-ups, your type is essential. Every push-up must be executed with correct type in order that your complete reps measured from exercise to exercise are on equal footing.

This gif shows Staci doing a push-up in perfect form.

Should you did 20 push-ups two days in the past, after which at the moment you probably did 25 push-ups by solely taking place midway, sticking your ass up within the air, and so forth., it’s completely not possible to inform if you happen to obtained any stronger.

Another angle of showing how to setup a proper push-up.

Right here’s the way to get into correct push-up place:

1) On the bottom, set your palms at a distance that’s barely wider than shoulder-width aside. 

Draw a straight line out of your chest/nipple right down to the ground – it ought to be instantly over your thumbnail.

Relying in your energy and expertise, your palms ought to be angled in a manner that feels comfy to you. For me, my palms are arrange in order that my center finger factors straight up and away from me.

2) To alleviate wrist ache (if in case you have poor wrist flexibility) do your push-ups holding onto push-up handles (so your wrists aren’t as compromised), or a bar:

Staci showing you an elevated push-up

Should you’re hardcore, you are able to do them in your knuckles (so long as you’re on a semi-soft floor like grass or carpet or damaged glass. Wait, scratch that final one).

3) Your ft ought to be arrange in a manner that feels proper and comfy and in steadiness. For some, that could be shoulder-width aside.

For others, it could be along with your ft touching. Typically talking, the broader aside your ft, the extra steady you’ll be to your push-ups.

4) Consider your physique as one large straight line – from the highest of your head down by your heels. Your butt shouldn’t be sticking manner up within the air or sagging. You’re basically holding a plank all through the whole motion, as proven on this video under:

5) When you have an issue getting the correct type along with your physique, do that: clench your butt, after which tighten your abs as if you happen to’re bracing to get punched.

Your core might be engaged, and your physique ought to be in that straight line. Should you’ve been doing push-ups incorrectly, this could be an enormous change for you.

Report a video of your self to be sure you’re doing it accurately.

6) Your head ought to be trying barely forward of you, not straight down.

I learn someplace that mentioned “if you happen to’re doing them proper, your chin ought to be the primary a part of your head to the touch the ground, not your nostril.”

Wanting up helps you retain your physique in line, however be at liberty to look down if that helps you focus extra.

7) On the high of your push-up, your arms ought to be straight and supporting your weight. You’re now able to do a push-up.

8) I need to draw particular consideration to that first step with hand place: practically EVERYBODY does push-ups with their arms out far too huge and their shoulders flared. That is unhealthy information bears. 

If I used to be trying down at you from above, your arms and physique ought to type an ARROW, not a T.

As you can see, you want your arms to be like an arrow, not a T when doing push-ups.

WARNING: When you have been doing push-ups along with your arms flared, doing them with correct type might be considerably tougher!

Methods to Do a Correct Push-Up (Right Push-Up Type with Video).

Within the 5-minute “Good Push-Up” video above, that includes yours really and two of our coaches, we take you thru EACH of the steps of a push-up, together with some variations!

Right here’s the way to full one good repetition of a correct push up:

  • Along with your arms straight, butt clenched, and abs braced, steadily decrease your self till your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or much less. Relying in your degree of expertise, age, and adaptability, 90 levels could be the bottom you’re capable of go. Personally, I prefer to go down till my chest (not my face), hits the ground. That manner, I do know I’m going the identical distance every time.
  • Attempt to not let your elbows go flying manner out with every repetition. Hold them comparatively near your physique, and maintain observe of once they begin to fly out while you get drained.
  • As soon as your chest (or nostril/chin) touches the ground (or your arms go right down to a 90-degree angle), pause barely after which explode again up till you’re again in the identical place.

Once you get down like so for your push-up it's time to...push...up.

Do as many as you’ll be able to till you begin to really feel your type slip (even barely); you’re executed for that set.

Right here’s why it is best to deal with type over amount:

  • 10 good push-ups and 5 crappy ones are powerful to quantify towards eleven good push-ups.
  • Should you can solely do 10 of one thing, write down your outcomes and intention for 11 subsequent time.
  • Good type means that you can maintain observe of your enhancements week over week.

Need to know the place push-ups ought to fall into your exercise routine? I’ve three choices!

1) Attempt Nerd Health Journey!

Nerd Health Journey will information you thru a body weight exercise routine that may be executed wherever (yep, even there). You possibly can strive it at no cost proper right here:

2) Do them as a part of our Newbie Body weight Exercise Routine! This exercise has been executed by lots of of 1000’s of individuals as their first energy coaching exercise.

3) Make your individual exercise with push-ups by following our Construct Your Personal Exercise” information! It’ll stroll you thru the whole lot that you must construct an train program to your targets in 10 steps.

How Do You Prepare to Do Push-Ups? (The place to Begin If You Can’t Do a Push-Up.)

Don’t fear if you happen to can’t do a push-up but. As we lay out within the video above, we have a plan that can provide help to get there.

You should begin with a neater push motion, and work as much as progressively tougher kinds of strikes that can ultimately lead to you doing true push-ups.

That is the precise technique utilized in our information, “Get Your First Push-up!

We’ll progress from Degree 1 Push-ups to Degree 4 Push-ups:

  • Wall Push-Ups: Degree 1
  • Elevated Push-Ups: Degree 2
  • Knee Push-ups: Degree 3
  • Common Push-ups: Degree 4


Stand in entrance of a wall. Clench your butt, brace your abs, and set your palms on the wall at barely wider than shoulder-width aside.

Stroll backwards along with your ft till your arms are absolutely prolonged and supporting your weight (usually one first rate sized step again with each ft will suffice). Holding the remainder of your physique in a straight line, steadily decrease your self in direction of the wall till your nostril virtually touches the wall, after which explode again as much as the beginning place.


Do 4 units of wall push-ups with a 2-minute relaxation between units, each different day. Hold observe of what number of repetitions you are able to do WITH PROPER FORM for every set in a pocket book for simple comparability to earlier exercises. As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions of wall push-ups, you’ll be able to progress to knee push-ups.


As we display on this video above from Nerd Health Prime, elevated push-ups are simply what they sound like – your palms are on an elevated floor, whether or not it’s one thing as tall as a kitchen desk or as little as a couple of blocks which can be inches off the bottom. This may rely in your degree of energy and expertise.

Should you’ve simply progressed from wall push-ups, choose one thing that’s at a degree that’s best for you – I usually discover the again of a park bench or the aspect of a picnic desk to be an ideal peak for doing incline push-ups. Like so:


Do 4 units of elevated push-ups with a 2-minute relaxation between units, each different day. Once more, maintain observe of your whole stats for what number of correct type repetitions you are able to do in every set. As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions, it’s time to both transfer to common push-ups, knee push-ups, or a decrease peak to your palms to be supported.

As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions, it’s time to both transfer to common push-ups, knee push-ups, or a decrease peak to your palms to be supported.

To work on development, attempt to doing all your elevated push-ups on the steps in your own home. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to transfer your palms to decrease and decrease steps till your palms are on the bottom.


Knee push-ups like this are a great way to progress to a regular push-up!

As soon as you’re comfy doing wall or elevated push-ups, proceed to knee push-ups. Your shoulder and hand placement will look similar to a daily push-up (an “arrow”, not a “T”), however you’ll stabilize your self in your knees as a substitute of your ft. As demonstrated right here:


As soon as you are able to do 4 units of 20 repetitions in your knees, you can begin fascinated by doing common push-ups.

To recap, if you happen to can’t do a daily push-up, transfer from:

  • Wall Push-Ups: Degree 1
  • Elevated Push-Ups: Degree 2
  • Knee Push-Ups: Degree 3
  • Common Push-ups: Degree 4

How do I do know the above development will work? Effectively, it’s the precise plan we use to assist individuals crush push-ups in Nerd Health Journey!

You possibly can see how we scale our body weight exercises proper right here:

What Are Different Forms of Push-Ups? (Push-Up Variations)

These stromtroopers need some variety in their push-up routine...if this drill instructor ever lets up.

Fundamental push-ups can get boring…

Thankfully, there are dozens upon dozens of variations to make issues tougher for you.

When you’re cranking out good type push-ups prefer it’s your job,[1] strive a few of these superior variations on for measurement.

Click on on every for a video demonstration (these are among the push-up variations pulled from NF Prime):

#1) One-legged Push-ups: introducing some selection and steadiness by eradicating certainly one of your legs for much less stabilization:

#2) Aspect-to-Aspect Push-Ups Get into the basic push-up place and transfer your palms farther aside. Now, decrease your self down in direction of one arm solely – it is best to really feel such as you’re supporting loads of your weight. 

To finish the rep, slide horizontally over to the opposite arm, and push-up. The farther aside your palms, the upper share of your body weight might be supported by that aspect of your chest/shoulder and arm (thus getting tougher)!

#3) Decline Push-Ups – these work your shoulders and triceps extra so than regular push-ups.

#4) Diamond Push-Ups – maintain your arms tight at your aspect, rotate your palms outward, and maintain your elbows tight as you decrease your physique. Works your triceps like loopy.

#5) Dive-Bomber Push-Ups – funky, tough, however oh so enjoyable. I’d clarify it, however simply watch the video

#6) Plyometric Push-Ups – these are brutal and can put on you out simply after a couple of repetitions. Simply don’t damage your self and smash your face throughout a failed try (not that I’ve ever executed that. Shut up my face all the time appears to be like like this)!

#7) Handstand Push-Ups – This goes with out saying, however it is best to be capable to do a correct handstand earlier than making an attempt these!

Kick up towards a wall, and with out flailing your elbows manner out to the aspect (which might wreak havoc in your shoulders and elbow joints), slowly decrease your self down till your head touches the bottom softly.

Then increase your self again up.

Rotate a few of these superior push-ups into your exercise routine and also you’ll be properly in your technique to an amazing energy coaching follow.

In order for you extra energy constructing ideas, we even have a complete information, Energy Coaching 101: All the things You Have to Know, while you join the Revolt (that’s our group) under:

Methods to Get Higher at Push-Ups

These LEGO characters love to stay fit doing the beginner bodyweight workout

So that you’ve realized the way to do a push-up, you are able to do a couple of of them, however you need to get higher! 

Listed here are some ideas that will help you alongside the best way:

  1. Get wholesome! As you drop pounds (which is 80% vitamin!), you’ll have to transfer much less weight round than earlier than, which can make your push-ups simpler to handle. Have you ever had hassle shedding pounds previously? Try our article “Why Can’t I Lose Weight?” to seek out out why.
  2. Don’t cheat on the previous couple of push-ups – while you’re drained, it’s straightforward to skip out on good type to your previous few reps. As quickly as you do one unhealthy type push-up, you’re executed. End up your 4 units, write down your numbers, and attempt to beat these numbers subsequent time.
  3. When beginning out don’t do push-ups two days in a row. You should give your muscle tissue time to rebuild and get better – take off at the very least 48 hours in between your push-up journey. Nevertheless, when push-ups turned a warm-up train for you – you are able to do them each day in order for you. Should you’re superior, you’ll be able to take into account a PLP program.
  4. Get sufficient protein into your system after ending up your exercise – protein helps rebuild the muscle tissue you simply broke down doing push-ups, and it helps them rebuild those self same muscle tissue stronger than earlier than. You possibly can learn our final information on protein for some tips about the way to up your protein consumption.
  5. If you are able to do 4 units of 20-25 good type push-ups no sweat, then it’s time to start out trying into push-up variations to maintain issues attention-grabbing.
  6. Construct up your core with planks – this may assist maintain your core sturdy in order that it’s not the weakest hyperlink in your correct type push-ups.

Coach Staci showing you the front plant

These 6 ideas might be an amazing addition to your energy coaching plan. Hold at it and earlier than you realize it you’ll be doing one-arm push-ups like Batman.

One arm push-ups are hardcore, which is why Batman does them.

What’s that? You don’t have a strength-building plan!!! Effectively then…

What’s Your Energy Constructing Plan?

Once you get comfortable with regular push-ups, you can try plyometric push ups like this.

It makes me unhappy after we get emails from individuals who battle and try to work laborious to get more healthy, and to be higher at push-ups, and simply can’t appear to make any progress.

If that’s you, you’re not alone!

1) Think about working with a web based coach (or in-person coach).

Serving to individuals be taught push-ups and different body weight workouts is why we constructed our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program: We construct applications for busy individuals to chop by the noise and simply get outcomes

2) Exercising at house and want a plan to observe? Try Nerd Health Journey!

Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra regularly, eat more healthy, and degree up your life (actually).

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

3) Be a part of our group! Now we have lots of of 1000’s of individuals, and I ship out two free emails each week to assist them degree up their lives. Be a part of our free group at the moment, and I’ll ship you a dozen free ebooks, together with TONS of exercise plans you are able to do anytime, wherever. 

Be a part of the group by signing up within the field under:

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT: go house, arrange a digital camera, and verify your type in your push-ups.

I hope you’ll discover that your type is nearly as good as you anticipated, nevertheless it’s okay if it’s not, it’ll provide you with one thing to work on.

Go do some push-ups, and work on getting higher with them each day.

You’ll be transferring from Degree 1 to Degree 4 push-ups and past!


PS: To not brag, however I typed this complete article whereas doing 1-handed push-ups. 

PPS: Okay no I didn’t. However it could have been cool if I did, proper?

PPPS: No? Nice. Sigh.


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