Pushups are a classic exercise that we all learned back in elementary school, but doing correct pushups is much harder than it seems. To get the benefits of a pushup and to avoid injuries, it’s important to use the proper form. Here are the four most common pushup mistakes and how to fix them.
Pushups are moving planks, so it’s important to keep your body in a straight line as you lower down and then to push back up. The key to doing this is to keep your core engaged, but if you don’t have enough strength to stay in a plank position, it’s easy to sag your hips to the ground to compensate.
Fix your sagging hips by making sure your tailbone is tucked and your hips are in line with your shoulders. If pushups are too hard for you, modify them by elevating your hands on a surface and building up to a pushup.
It’s important to lower your chest all the way to the ground, but if you have difficulty lowering your chest while keeping your legs straight, start with bent knee pushups or elevate your hands.
Placing your hands too far apart or bending your elbows too wide puts pressure on your shoulders and it limits the motion of your chest and triceps. You can also injure your wrists and elbows.
Instead, place your hands directly under your shoulders, with your elbows 45 degrees from your body.
When you don’t have the core strength you’ll either sag your hips to the ground or push your butt in the air. By placing your butt in the air, you’re taking away the work of your chest and making your shoulder, arms, and upper traps compensate.
Before you start your push up, engage your core muscles and when you push up brace with your abs, squeeze your glutes, and flex your quads.