Going too fast and using only partial range of motion are two common mistakes people make when doing push-ups.
In the video below, fitness trainer Darin Steen reveals how to correct these mistakes and demonstrates proper form.
Here’s a summary of the basics of proper form:
1. Slow down your movement, and use a three-second contraction. Try to really feel the muscle groups you’re targeting.
2. Do a full range of motion. Lower your body all the way down, allowing your sternum to gently touch the floor, and push all the way up. Your arms should be straight, without locking your elbows.
3. Pay attention to the alignment of your elbows. The ideal angle from your sides is about 45 degrees. This allows you to effectively work your chest muscles and prevent injuries from overextension.
4. Keep your body stiff and straight as a plank, including your head. Pay careful attention and make sure you don’t drop your head forward; it needs to be in line with your back.
5. Breathe in on the way down; breathe out on the way up, through your nose, not your mouth.