Tip: How to Do a Real Push-Up

Most people, including coaches, are doing their push-ups incorrectly. (That's how they can get so many reps.) Here's how to do them right.

  1. Glutes should be slightly above the rest of the body.
  2. There should be a natural curvature of the spine.
  3. Contract the quads, not the glutes.
  4. The hips and knees should not sag.
  5. Head and neck should be neutral, tall, and elongated on the spine. Do not "make a double chin."
  6. Arms and elbows should be close to the torso (not flared) – a 10 to 20 degree angle.
  7. Retract and depress the shoulders while having the scapulae medially rotate towards the spine. Think "big chest" or "chest out."
  8. Stay tall on the toes.
  9. Fingers should be pointed straight ahead.
  10. At the bottom, the body finishes millimeters above the floor. Ideally, don't touch the floor with your body.