How to Do a Pushup Properly

Pushups, also called Press Ups, are among the most popular bodyweight exercises. Let’s learn how to do a pushup properly.

Whether you’re an elite athlete or just trying to stay in shape, you’re likely to perform the basic pushup. The great thing is that you don’t need any equipment. You can train at home, in hotel rooms or even outdoors. 

In this guide, we’ll look at a variety of different pushups. We’ll examine how they affect other muscles in the body. Also, if you struggle with these exercises, don’t worry because we’ll show you how to make them more manageable. 

Check out our helpful guide below to learn How to do a Push up properly.

What Muscles Do Different Pushups Work?  

Most people think that pushups only work the arms and shoulders. However, the reality is that they are full-body exercises. That is when you learn how to do a pushup properly, of course.

Sure, the standard pushup prioritizes the triceps and shoulders. But they also build strong chest muscles while targeting the abdominals and the wing muscles. Furthermore, it will help make a stronger core. 

Different types of pushups enable you to emphasize specific areas of the body. Let’s look at these now. 

What are the Different Variations of Pushups? 

There are a wide variety of modified pushups. Some of these are more advanced than others. It’s a good idea to mix them up and include them in your training program. 

How to do a Standard Pushup

How to do a push up properly

When people think of pushups, this is the first exercise that springs to mind. It’s the most basic form. Standard pushups work the chest and triceps. 

  1. Take a high plank position on your palms. Your arms should be directly under your shoulders. Ensure that your body is in a straight line so that your pelvis doesn’t rise during the exercise. 
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor in a controlled motion. Your chest should almost brush the floor. Keep your elbows close to your sides.
  3. Push up from the low position and return to the high plank. Tense your core as you rise.
  4. You can repeat until you reach your maximum or do a lower number for multiple sets. 

How to do Diamond Pushups Correctly

The diamond pushup is a distinctive variation that places more substantial pressure on the triceps. They also work the chest and shoulders muscles but with less emphasis. 

  1. Take a high plank position. 
  2. Invert your hands beneath your chest in a diamond shape. Your thumbs and index fingers should be touching. 
  3. Do as many pushups as you can from this position. Your elbows will flare slightly because of the position of your hands, but this is normal. 

Watch this Video: This Is How To Gain Muscle With Diamond Pushups

How to do a Wide Pushup Properly

How to do a Wide Pushup Properly

Wide pushups are excellent if you want to create an extra burn for your shoulders and chest. Your elbows will flare more than regular pushups. 

  1. Take a high plank position. 
  2. Move your hands wider than your shoulders. 
  3. Do a regular pushup. Your elbows will bend out to the side. 

Staggered Hands Pushup

The staggered hands pushup is a more complicated variation of the standard pushup. It challenges the core to stay stable. Remember to perform an equal number on both sides!

  1. Drop to a high plank position. 
  2. Move one hand slightly forward and the other backward. Neither should be on the shoulder line. The wider the space, the more challenging the exercise.
  3. Bend your elbows and drop your chest down. Rise to the starting position. 
  4. Walk your hands into the opposite staggered position and perform another pushup. 
  5. Continue to alternate sides. 

Explosive Pushups

Explosive Pushups

Explosive pushups are not for beginners. They help develop power in the shoulders as well as the chest. Everybody wishes they could perform them because they look great. 

  1. Take a regular pushup position. 
  2. Drop your chest down toward the floor. 
  3. Push forcefully upward so that your hands leave the floor. Drive with an equal amount of power from both sides. 
  4. Land with soft elbows and repeat the same movement. 
  5. Avoid straightening your arms to reduce the risk of hyper-extending your elbows. 
  6. Enhance this exercise by adding claps before your hands hit the ground. 

How to do One-Arm Pushup

Single-arm pushups focus on just one limb. The increased weight places more pressure on individual arms. It also forces the core to engage more to stabilize your body. 

  1. From a high plank position, place one hand beneath your chest. 
  2. Lift the other so that your arm is in a horizontal line along the length of your body. 
  3. While maintaining a strong plank position, perform a pushup. 
  4. Repeat an equal number on each side. 
How to do a One Arm Pushup. How to do a 1 arm pushup.

Spiderman Pushup

A Spiderman Pushup is also known as side-kick pushups, this variation works all the regular muscles you’d expect. But it also blasts your core with a powerful effect. 

  1. Perform a regular pushup. 
  2. As you drop your body toward the floor, lift one leg and bring your knee as close as possible to your elbow. 
  3. Rise and return to a standard high plank. 
  4. Drop down again and repeat the movement on the opposite side. 
  5. Continue to alternate. 

Knuckle Push ups vs Regular Pushups

Knuckle pushups are a variation of standard or regular pushups. Martial artists favor them because they condition the knuckles, making them stronger. However, they also reduce pressure on the wrists while increasing the movement’s range of motion. 

  1. Take a high plank position on your fists. Turn your hands so that your thumbs are forward and the back of your hands are side-facing. Keep your elbows tucked close to your body. 
  2. Perform a standard pushup movement on your fists. Try to maintain your body weight on the larger front knuckles. 
  3. Continue for a timed period or until you reach your maximum. 

It’s time to put knuckle pushups vs regular pushups to the test. Which is your favorite and why?

Pike Pushup

Pike Pushup

Unlike the other versions, pike pushups start from a downward-facing dog position. They also target the shoulders as well as the core. You may need to stretch before performing this exercise. 

  1. Start in a downward-facing dog yoga position. Your feet and hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders. Meanwhile, your pelvis is elevated as high as you can, while your back is in a straight line.
  2. Lower your head toward the ground between your hands. Keep your heels on the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position. 

How to do Superman Pushup

The superman pushup is the most explosive and dynamic pushup variation. They’re not for beginners, but they’re superb for increasing your power capacity! 

Don’t try this one if you can’t do regular explosive pushups easily, or you’ll land on your face!

  1. Take a standard pushup position. 
  2. Lower your body toward the floor as normal. 
  3. Press up with explosive force so that your hands and feet leave the floor. 
  4. Extend your arms forward while you’re in the air. Your body should be in a relatively straight line. 
  5. Land safely with soft elbows. 
  6. Repeat multiple times. 

How to Do a Pushup Properly 

If you want to gain maximum results, you need to learn how to do a pushup properly.

You must engage your core as you press upward. Exhale as you rise so that you tighten the abdominals and lower back. Remember that your hips and shoulder should be on the same line. 

Don’t allow your pelvis to tilt upward or drop. 

The latter places pressure on your lower back, while the former position won’t allow you to tighten your core fully and cause injury. If you can’t sustain a correct pushup position, then stop! 

Try to avoid pumping your arms as quickly as possible. The most effective pushups are slow and controlled. 

How to do a pushup properly

How to Make Pushups Easier

Pushups are challenging if you’re new to the exercise or haven’t regularly trained. Don’t be afraid to try modified versions of the movement. You can perform any pushup variation from the adjusted position. 

Remember. If you don’t practice with the correct form, you’re wasting your time. Even worse, you could injure yourself. 

  1. Take a high plank position. 
  2. Drop your knees to the floor but keep your feet in the air. Cross your feet. 
  3. Keep your back and neck in a straight line. 
  4. Perform a pushup movement from this position. 

You can try the regular version when you can perform ten modified pushups with ease. Extend your legs with the knees lifted from the floor. 

How to Make Pushups More Challenging

Eventually, you may reach a point where your pushup results plateau. 

You won’t see as many gains unless you do dozens or even hundreds of the movements. Luckily, there are several ways to make these exercises more challenging.

Add Weight to a Pushup

Adding a barbell plate is a popular way to increase the load when doing a pushup. You could also wear a weighted vest. 

A partner should gently place the plate on your lower to mid-back. It mustn’t be too heavy so you can maintain the correct form. Otherwise, you run the risk of injury. 

Pushups as a Workout Finisher

Maybe you can do dozens of pushups in the morning after you roll out of bed. But it’s much tougher to perform them after a heavy gym workout. 

Try adding them as a finisher on chest and arms day. You’ll feel a savage burn. Perform your pushups to the maximum, or you can do multiple sets in a HIIT-style format. 

Benefits of Elevated Leg Pushups

How to make pushups more challenging

Another great way to make pushups more challenging is to elevate your legs. 

Decline pushups are challenging because they place more pressure on your shoulders and arms. Suddenly, they bear a disproportionate amount of your body’s weight. 

Elevate your feet behind you on a flat surface like a chair, bench, or box. Then perform whichever pushup you want. Ensure that your pelvis doesn’t tilt during the movement. 

Now You Know How to Do a Pushup Properly

I’m sure it feels great to drop and do thirty pushups anytime you, please. However, getting your form correct from the beginning will make each pushup more valuable.

I’ve seen so many men that can do a large number of pushups, but they are sloppy. Speed and numbers don’t matter if your form is not correct.

You will get more benefit from ten pushups done correctly than thirty pushups done incorrectly and carelessly.

Now that you know how to do a pushup properly. Make sure to add a variety of pushups to your daily workout.

Here are the best bodyweight exercises to try with your pushups.