How to Improve Your Push Ups

Push ups are one of the best exercises to build overall strength and core stability. At first glance, you’re working the upper body. But when you really dive into the form, you quickly realize it’s a full body movement that requires lots of muscles to get the job done well and safely.

That’s why it’s often so challenging.

Instead of sticking to the traditional way of going to your knees, here are some of our favorite ways to build a strong and stable body so you can perform Push Ups from the toes.

1). Start on an incline. Use a box, bench or bar set at about waist height. Increasing the incline of your body means you’re lifting less of it. Aim to get your chest to that target in a controlled way and think about “pushing away” from the target as you come up.

Lower the incline every few weeks as you build strength.

2). Keep the reps low. Start out with anywhere from 2-5 reps in a row. Stop before you lose form. Aim for 10 total reps and break them up as needed.

3). Push the floor or target away. As you come out of the push up, think about pushing away from that surface.

4). Reverse jar opening. In addition to pushing the floor away, screw your hands into the floor or the surface, like you are opening a jar the opposite way.

5). Use a target. Put a softball or water bottle under your chest so as you lower down, you have a target that you’re aiming for. This helps keep consistent reps and form when you’re working on the floor.

6). Dig your toes in and squeeze your legs. Push Ups are a full body exercise and starting with tension is key. Before you start your first rep, drive your toes down into the floor and squeeze your legs and your butt.

The main take-aways: Practice. Commit to 2-3 times per week. Aim for 3-10 reps at a time. Break up the reps to maintain perfect form. Do as many on the toes as you can and switch to an incline if needed. Keep the reps crisp.