Push-ups are classics in bodyweight training and true fitness all-rounders. They are among the best known and most effective full body exercises. You don’t need a gym or equipment. The focus is on the entire upper body.
You don’t just build muscles with pushups. Since this is a free exercise, you also train your strength endurance, coordination, flexibility and your sense of balance. Your posture can improve with regular push-ups.
Which muscles are being used during push ups?
Pushups are often used in chest muscle training. With push-ups you not only train your small and large chest muscles, your triceps and the front part of your shoulder muscles. But also your back muscles, biceps, core and glutes. With push-ups you train approx. 200 muscles at once!
How to do push ups correctly?
There are countless ways to do a push-up. From easy to extremely difficult, everything is included. We’ll show you, as a beginner, how to do the classic push-up correctly.
- Kneel on the floor and place your hands a little wider than shoulder width. Your fingers are pointing straight ahead.
- Put your feet back one at a time. You can place them next to each other or hip-width apart. The closer your feet are together, the better you can build and hold tension in your core and buttocks.
- Now push your upper body a little forward. Your hands should be about chest height. Your arms are vertical.
- Keep your whole body in tension (especially your core and glutes). Your body should always form a straight line while doing the exercise.
- Now slowly bend your arms. Your elbows point backwards at a slight angle.
- Go as deep as you can without losing your body tension.
- Push yourself up in a controlled manner.
- Repeat the process.
- Do the exercise slowly and in a controlled manner.
Do you still lack the strength for a clean push-up on the floor? Then lean your hands on an elevated object, such as a a bench or pole. The changed angle makes the exercise easier. Try to avoid push-ups on your knees, the risk of a hollow back is too high.
Common push up mistakes
Pushups look easier than they are. Since you have to pay attention to several things at the same time, mistakes can creep in. To get the most out of your push-ups, it is important to keep the following in mind:
Lack of body tension
Do not lose your tension. Tense your whole body. Press your feet together and pinch your glutes together. Pull your belly button towards your spine.
To avoid neck pain, make sure that your head is in line with your spine. Find a point on the floor and fix it. This makes it easier for you to keep your head down.
Incorrect position of your arms and elbows
Another source of error can be the position of your arms and elbows. To relieve your shoulders, your elbows should stay as close to your body as possible and point backwards. The exercise may now seem a lot harder to you. This is because your triceps are now being used more.
Wrong position of your hands
When your palms turn inward while doing pushups, your elbows automatically move outward. Your wrists, elbows and shoulders will be unnecessarily stressed. Position your hands forward with your fingertips. You can spread your fingers slightly. Screw your hands into the ground with a slight outward twisting motion. Your elbows will now automatically point backwards.
Our tip: Do you have wrist pain despite the correct position of your hands? Fold your sports towel and place it under the heels of your hands or try so-called push-up grips.
Not all push-ups are created equal. Whether beginner, advanced or professional, there is a suitable push-up for everyone. So you can keep improving and adding variety to your training.
In addition to the classic push-up, you can try the following variants:
- Push-ups with elbows directly on the body.
- Push-ups with your legs up. Here you can e.g. Place on a bench or on a Pezzi ball to further increase the level of difficulty.
- Push-ups with hands under your chest. Your hands form a triangle called a diamond push-up.
- Push-ups on your fingers or fists.
- One-armed push-up.
- Push-ups with clapping.
Summary: Push Ups for Beginners
- The push-up is a fitness all-rounder.
- Push-ups work around 200 muscles in your body.
- Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a professional, there is something for everyone thanks to the versatility of push-ups.
- Training stimulus and training intensity can be increased or decreased depending on the variation.