Tip: The Worst Way to Do Push-Ups

The way most people do push-ups leads to acute and chronic injury to the joints and tissues. Here's how to fix it.

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Stop Flaring Your Elbows!

You know not to let your hips sag when doing push-ups, but do you know where your arms are supposed to go? Hint: Not way out to the sides.

The flared elbow position (arms at 70 to 90 degrees from the torso) can cause injury to the joints and tissues. Fortunately, many coaches now recommend the 45-degree arm angle, but this is still incorrect. Although 45 degrees is an improvement compared to extreme-elbow flare, it's not ideal.

Push-Up Elbow

The shoulders and scapula still have additional room to move into a more centrated and packed position. When the scapulae fully retract, depress, and medially rotate towards the spine as they should, the arm and elbow position will be much closer to the torso – a 10 to 20 degree angle.