3 Biggest Pushup Mistakes Most People Make & And How To Fix Them Instantly - Sixpackfactory
How to fix common press-up mistakes
The press-up is the most effective (and popular) exercise to help develop upper body strength and build muscle.
It’s also one of the easiest and simplest compound moves to master. Well, it should be. But here’s the thing: a lot of you are doing it wrong.
So let’s get straight to it.
Below are seven of the most common press-up mistakes. And we’re going to show you how to fix them.
Your press-up game is about to go big league.
1. What’s wrong: Hands too far apart
Put it right:Changing the position and angle of your hands will help target different areas of your chest and upper body. But, for the classic press-up, your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders. In this position, you will properly work your chest, shoulders and triceps.
Get the basics right first, then you can start adding some variety
Pro tip:Focus on your pinky. Pushing your little finger into the ground will create tension through your arms and activate your chest. This will also help avoid wrist injuries as you are placing more pressure through the outside of your hands, which are able to withstand more force.
(WATCH: 7 press-up variations for a bigger chest)
2. What’s wrong: Feet too close together
Put it right:Feet that are touching (or too far apart) creates imbalance and could cause your hips to sag, reducing the efficiency of your press-up and increasing the risk of lower back pain. Grind your toes into the floor, with your feet no more than six inches apart. You want to create a solid platform for your body to work from.
Pro tip:With your arms fully extended (start position) tense as if you’re about to take a punch to the stomach. This will help engage your core, glutes and hamstrings and help flatten your back so your entire body is in a neutral position.
(Related: The genius way everybody should be doing a press-up)
3. What’s wrong: Arching your back
Put it right:Press-ups are compound moves – working all your major muscle groups – so if your back starts to arch, you won’t be getting the full core benefit from the movement. An easy way around this: at the beginning of each rep, squeeze your glutes together, hard. This will help keep your hips level and back straight.
Pro tip:Struggling to control your butt cheeks? Set yourself up in a press-up position with your feet against a wall. As you start the move, push your heels into the wall. You should feel your backside begin to tighten. That’s how it should feel during every rep.
4. What’s wrong: Flared elbows
Put it right:Arms flaring out too wide puts unnecessary strain through your rotator cuff. That’s your shoulders to the uninitiated. Bring those arms in – about a 20- to 40-degree angle – to your torso.
Pro tip:Imagine pushing through your armpit. This will help engage your chest and triceps, as well as your lats and traps, while protecting your shoulders.
5. What’s wrong: Only concentrating on the up
Put it right:There are two movements to the press-up and a lot of gym bros only focus on the up. Remember, what comes up, must come down, and it’s the down phase where the muscle-building magic happens.
Don’t just drop. In order to build mass, your muscles need time under tension (TUT). A study published in the journal Physiology found that slower movements produced greater increases in rates of muscle protein synthesis than the same movement performed rapidly.
Slowly lower over two to three seconds. This will help create TUT, and engage a bigger proportion of muscle fibres. And remember, always keep your core engaged and body in a straight line.
Pro tip:On the way up, try to turn your hands in. This will help activate your pecs. On the way down, think of doing a row. This will engage your upper back muscles, working them twice as hard.
6. What’s wrong: Not going low enough
Put it right:We’ve all seen that guy in the gym who pumps through press-ups like they are going out of fashion. And while it might look impressive, we’re willing to bet he’s not doing them properly. Take a closer look. If his arms aren’t fully extended at the top, and his chest isn’t low enough – almost touching the floor – at the bottom, then the guy’s a fraud.
Pro tip:Ensure each press-up runs through a full range of motion. Poor form targets fewer muscles. If you’re going to do something, do it right.
7. What’s wrong: Head’s up
Put it right:Neck hurting? Feel a pinch between your shoulder blades on your way up? If the answer’s yes and yes, then your head is in the wrong position. Imagine there is a metal rod running from your toes, through your legs, along your back and up through your neck. Keep that rod straight. This will help activate your entire body and maintain a neutral neck position, eliminating the risk of injury.
Pro tip:Rod analogy not working for you? In your press-up position, pick a point on the floor two feet in front of you. Now stare at it. Never take your eyes off it.
Video: 6 Dumbest Push-Up Mistakes Sabotaging Your Chest Growth! STOP DOING THESE!
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