Push-Up Exercise

The Push Up (also known as a press up) is a classic body weight exercise for the upper body. There are many variations of the push-up exercise - here is a general description of the push-up, with a few other variations described below.

Equipment Required: depending on the variation, you may need ... raised blocks, a wall, the Perfect Pushup.

Basic Technique

  1. The starting position is facing down with your weight distributed on the hands and feet. The body is rigid and straight, and the hands are usually placed approximately shoulder width apart (the plank position).
  2. Lower your body until your chest nears the floor at the bottom of the movement, and then return up to the starting position. This is one repetition.
  3. Remember to move in a nice fluid motion, keeping the core muscle groups activated. Breathe out on the way down, and breathe in as you come back up.
  4. Repeat the action to perform a set number of pushups, or for a set time.
the push-upthe basic push-up

Push Up Alternatives

Increasing Difficulty

With small changes to the standard technique it is possible to easily increase the difficulty of this exercise.

the modified push-up off the kneesthe modified push-up off the knees

Reducing Difficulty

For less difficulty, you need to reduce the weight going through the hands.

How Many and How Far?

A good workout would be 3 sets of 10-15 pushups, choosing one of the variations above to set the difficulty level. The 7-minute workout requires 30 seconds of pushups, while there are many push-up fitness tests which require 1 or 2 minutes of pushups. Check out the world records for the most number of pushups.

How do you know how far to lower the chest? You could put an object under the chest and go down to touch it, or elevate the hands slightly and lower the chest to that level as in the home push-up.

Push Up Descriptions

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