June 17, 2024
Build upper body strength, improve posture, and enhance your fitness level through push ups. Read on to master the art of push ups by learning proper form, modifications for beginners, and the benefits of doing them correctly.


Push ups are a simple yet highly effective exercise that can help you build upper body strength, improve your posture, and enhance your fitness level. However, performing push ups incorrectly can lead to injury or muscle strain. In this article, we’ll explore how to do push ups correctly, including the most common mistakes people make and how to correct form. We’ll also provide modifications for beginners and explain the benefits of doing push ups with proper form.

Common Push Up Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes people make when performing push ups is improper hand placement. Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and directly below your shoulders. Another common mistake is sagging hips, which puts pressure on the lower back and can cause pain. Finally, improper breathing can also affect your form, making the exercise less effective.

These mistakes can lead to various injuries, such as wrist strains or lower back pain. That’s why correct form is crucial.

Correcting Push Up Form

Let’s break down how to do a push up correctly:

  • Hand placement: Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, directly below your shoulders.
  • Elbow positioning: Keep your elbows close to your body, around a 45-degree angle. This helps to engage your chest muscles.
  • Core engagement: Engage your core and squeeze your glutes to keep your body in a straight line. This helps to prevent hip sagging and lower back pain.

Remember to breathe steadily throughout the exercise, inhaling as you lower your body and exhaling as you push up. If you’re unsure about your form, consider practicing in front of a mirror to get real-time feedback.

Modifications for Beginners

If you’re new to push ups, it’s best to start with modifications until you build up your strength and form. Here are a few common modifications:

  • Knee push ups: Start on all fours, then lower your chest to the ground while keeping your knees on the floor. This helps to reduce the amount of weight you’re lifting.
  • Wall push ups: Stand facing the wall with your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Slowly lower your chest towards the wall and push back up. This modification works well for those who are unable to do knee push ups.

Remember, the goal is to build strength and form. Don’t worry if it takes time to advance to a traditional push up. Consistency is key.

Benefits of Correct Push Up Form

Performing push ups with correct form offers various benefits, including:

  • Increased upper body strength: Push ups target your chest, triceps, and shoulders.
  • Improved posture: Good form helps to strengthen your core and back muscles, which can lead to better posture.
  • Better overall fitness: Push ups are a compound exercise, meaning they target multiple muscle groups at once. This makes them an effective way to increase your overall fitness level.

Additionally, doing push ups with proper form helps minimize the risk of injury to yourself and others around you during the exercise.


Push ups are an effective way to build upper body strength, improve posture, and enhance your fitness level. However, performing push ups incorrectly can lead to injury or muscle strain. By focusing on your hand placement, elbow positioning, and core engagement, you can do push ups correctly and maximize their benefits. Remember to start with modifications if needed and seek professional help if necessary. With consistent practice and good form, you’ll be able to master the art of push ups.

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