Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I love push-ups. It is one of the basic, most versatile and most challenging movements there are. Working the chest, arms, shoulders, back, anterior chain and even the legs; when done with a mindful approach the push-up is a king-maker.
Like every exercise, to get proficient at push-ups you must practice them. I’ve put together a few tips to help you on your way, to ensure full activation of muscles during this movement.
1) Elbow Position:
Bodyweight training has a lot to do with leverages. By keeping the elbows at an angle of 45 degrees (tucking the elbow) the shoulder is in a healthier position.
2) Pull Yourself Down:
Rather than letting gravity pull you down, actively pull yourself down like a row. This will activate your latissimus dorsi (those massive wing-like muscles on your back), creating more tension and control around the body.
3) Brace Yourself:
Draw the belly button in & tense the abs. Imagine you are bracing your abs to take a punch. Along with this squeeze the glutes. Your back will thank you.
4) Spread Your Fingers & Grip the Floor:
By spreading the fingers and gripping the floor, you will cause the body to create more tension. This will engage the triceps and stabilise the shoulder.
In short, the push-up is essentially a very simple exercise but when a little thought of how the body moves throughout the exercise comes into play you will find it more stable, rather than just going through the motions.
Be mindful in what you do to get the most benefit.