Although the pushup is a classic exercise that’s often perceived as a chest exercise, being suspended from your toes to your neck really engages all the muscles in between. You work the muscles in your butt, legs, back, shoulders, arms and core. Pushups are convenient, because you don’t need any equipment to do them and you can do them pretty much anywhere. The one requirement when doing pushups is that you do them with perfect form. Anything less can trigger injuries and won’t give you the desired results.
Come down on the floor on all fours, placing your palms under your shoulders with your fingers pointing forward and your knees under your hips.
Extend your legs straight back, flexing your feet and curling your toes toward your shins so you’re holding your body up on the balls of your feet. The wider your feet, the easier it is to balance your body during the exercise. As you get more experienced, slowly eliminate any space between your feet.
Contract your abdominals, drawing your belly button in as if bringing it to your spine. Keep you back straight, and also engage the muscles in your butt and legs to stabilize yourself. Face the floor to keep your neck neutral and your body straight as a plank. Have a spotter check that you’re aligned from your neck down to your heels, or do the exercise sideways in front of a mirror so you can check your form.
Bend your elbows out to slowly lower your body chest-first to the floor. Your arms should carry all your weight and trigger the motion. When your chest is 2 inches above the floor, extend your elbows and push yourself back to the starting point. Move your body as a whole and avoid sagging your belly to the floor or hiking your hips up.
Complete as many repetitions as you can, working your way up to doing two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
For easier pushups, do the exercise on your knees, suspending your body from your neck to your knees.
Do pushups on your knuckles by making a fist, if having your hands flat on the floor triggers discomfort in your wrists. Ensure you do knuckle pushups on a padded surface to prevent injuring your hands.
Always breathe out during the hardest part of the pushup (the ascent) and inhale during the easiest (the descent).