6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Push Ups

The push up is a classic, old school move. It has stood the test of time. It is a move that works practically every muscle in the body but did you know that with just a few simple tweaks you could be getting even more from your push up? Follow these 6 tips and you can be taking your push ups to the next level:

Press your hands into the floor

When doing a push up, you will want to push your palms into the floor, away from your wrists. While doing this, rotate your arms externally so that your elbows and biceps face forward. This provides a natural tension in your arms, upper back and shoulders which will help you maintain stability during the exercise.

Squeeze your lats

This is another great way to stabilize yourself. These muscles can be found under your arm pits and run along the side of the body. Pressing your palms to the floor begins to engage the lats but you should also think about squeezing your arm pits, like you are holding something in them, this will give you that aforementioned stability and help you keep your form.

Draw your shoulder blades down and back

Keep your shoulders away from your ears! Going all turtle neck makes it more difficult to work the muscles you are actually trying to tone. Before you bend your elbows, make sure your shoulders are pulled down and away from your ears which will engage your back. Act like you are trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Keep your neck in line with your spine

Dropping your head too far or lifting it too high can increase your risk for injury. Don't tuck your chin or look straight out. Focus about 6 inches in front of your fingertips. That should do the trick.

Keep your core engaged

Your core is basically everything but your extremities. Activating all the core muscles, including your obliques, abs and glutes takes the pressure off your lower back and stabilizes your hips so your body stays in one clean line. Squeeze your navel toward your spine for an extra ab benefit.

Master the breath

This might actually be the most important thing you can do. Breathing will improve your form. Remember to exhale with the effort of the movement. Inhale when you go down, exhale when you push back up. When you exhale, the goal is to empty the lungs as much as possible which contracts the core and gives your movement more power. Easy enough. Now drop and give me 20!      

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