Four push-up mistakes to avoid

By Ea Francisco

When you hear “basic exercise,” one of the first things you think of has to be push-ups. It’s a familiar exercise that even kids are taught to do. Everyone is aware of its overall physical benefits and presumably, anyone can do it. In reality though, most people who do it get it wrong. Even the simplest details can be an obvious mistake.

Sagging hips

Your back and body should be straight whether you’re pushing up or down. It should be that your whole body is moving up and down at the same time, but sagging hips cause your upper body to go up before your lower body. Tighten your midsection and hips, so that you get a firm planking position in your push-ups.

Flaring elbow bend

One mistake that people don’t realize is that their elbows bend far outside their sides. This makes push-ups less effective because it works your chest less and adds strain on your shoulder joints, which can cause injury. Tuck your elbows as close to your body as possible or keep it close to your wrists.

Wrong arm position

The starting position of your hands is important because it affects the position of your elbow, too. Your fingers should point forward in order to get the right angle for your elbows and shoulders. If pointed inwards, it causes your elbows to go out of alignment.

Incomplete reps

There could be a tendency that you’re not doing a full repetition. It could be that you’re not going all the way down or you’re not pushing all the way up. When you go down, your chest should be almost touching the floor. The length of your arms going up should be just enough to reach your shoulders but not so much that it causes your back to round in.

An important thing to remember about push-ups is that you should value quality over quantity. It’s easy to claim that you’re doing a lot of reps but if it’s sloppy, then it doesn’t really count. Even if you do a hundred, your push-up mistakes can make the entire workout pointless, so focus on doing less but with better form.

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