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The Perfect Push Ups Guide

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Push-ups aren’t as easy as they look and while their benefits are well known performed incorrectly they can cause shoulder and/or lower back injuries. Push-ups build muscle by working your chest, shoulders, triceps and core muscles. They can be done almost anywhere at any time; however, if your technique is off push-ups can cause trouble.

 

Common errors include the following:

• Hyper-extending your neck by looking forward can cause neck injuries. Your neck should be in line with the rest of your spine at all times.
• If you work with computers having a forward head position is common. Leading with your head can cause neck injuries. Instead tuck your chin and lead with your chest.
• Your body must be straight from ankles to shoulders. A weak core can cause your torso to sag. Push your abs out and squeeze your glutes. Elbows should be at a 45 degree angle to your body.

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Correct push-up technique:

• In the starting position with elbows locked lower yourself by bending your elbows until your chest almost touches the floor. Rise back up by pushing into the floor.
• Don’t place your hands too wide apart. They should be only slightly wider than shoulder width with hands at 45 degrees.
• Tucking elbows in at 45 degrees to your body makes it easier on your shoulders.
• In a straight line from shoulders to ankles push your abs out as if about to be punched in the stomach.
• At the same time squeeze your glutes to avoid hyper extension of your lower back.
• Lead with your chest, not your head and don’t look forward.

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