On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m showing you how to do a push up correctly for beginners to advanced.
We filmed this in a beautiful location at Central Park in New York City.
Since it wasn’t quite spring time yet, the tank top had to stay on 😂.
In addition to sharing examples of the right way versus the wrong way to do push ups, in this push up tutorial I’m also showing 3 push up progressions.
These 3 beginner, intermediate, and advanced push up modifications can be used by both men and women.
That’s right ladies, you also need to be doing push ups to get nice, lean, and toned arms.
The push up targets many of the “mirror muscles”.
In other words, the muscles you always check out when you look at yourself in the mirror.
Push ups work the following muscles:
However, to optimally strengthen and grow these muscles, it’s important to learn how to do a push up correctly.
Proper Form + Proper Coaching Tips = Faster Results
The military use the push up as an exercise to test how fit recruits really are.
Many personal trainers also call the push up the ultimate bodyweight and calisthenics exercise.
Plus, one of the biggest benefits of the push up is you can do it anywhere, at anytime, without the need of any equipment or space.
Based on your current fitness level, you can use these 3 push up modifications to learn how to progress, or regress, the difficulty of the push up, so you can keep challenging your body.
Here is how to do a push up correctly for beginners, as well as more advanced push up progressions.
Here are a few coaching tips on a beginner push up modification, the push up from knees.
To get started:
Another beginner modification is the incline push up.
If you are beginner male or female, strive for 10-15 push ups on knees.
Once you can easily complete 10-15 reps, it’s time to progress up to the intermediate push up progression.
Here are a few coaching tips on the intermediate push up modification.
To get started:
1. Get down on the floor with your arms straight, hands just outside shoulder width, and directly below your shoulders.
2. Ensure your body maintains a straight line from your feet to your head. Keep your abs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings tight throughout the movement to keep your body rigid in a straight line, while reducing any sagging,
3. To lower your body to the ground, bend your elbows until your chest hovers just above the ground.
4. Contract your chest and triceps to push yourself back up to the beginning position.
5. Repeat for reps.
Remember, when it comes to push ups, it’s not just about the number of reps you can complete.
The quality of the rep is more important than the quantity of reps.
To improve the quality of each rep, focus on making every single push up count.
You can do this by focusing on keeping the tension on your chest, as much as you possibly can.
Don’t just go through the motions of the push up as fast as you can.
Sure you may feel it in your shoulders, but the primary muscle worked should be your chest.
If you’re not primarily feeling tension in your chest, slow it down and focus on the contraction, not speed.
The mind to muscle connection is so key with any exercise that you’re doing.
Before starting any exercise, think about the targeted muscle, then initiate the movement by contracting that muscle.
When it comes to the push up, before you begin the eccentric lowering of your body down towards the floor, first contract your chest.
In other words, get your pecs pumping.
Once the targeted muscle is contracted, then you can lower yourself towards the floor, then back up again.
You should always be thinking about firing the muscle you are working.
This is a little tip that a lot of the people at the gym get wrong.
Rather than focusing on high quality reps, they just try to do as many reps as possible.
It’s not about the number or reps or the amount of weight you’re lifting.
It’s more important to focus on creating tension in the targeted muscle.
To create the most tension in your chest during a push up, rather than thinking about pushing your body away from the ground, think about pushing the ground away from you.
Then when you’re lowering your body to the ground, think about pushing your hands together.
Following these coaching cues will help you create as much tension in your chest as you possibly can.
Regardless if you’re a male or female, once you get to a point where you can pretty easily complete 20-25 push ups, then you can move up to the advanced push up progression.
It’s always important to keep progressing your workouts, so here is the advanced push up modification, the decline push up.
To get started:
There you go.
Hopefully you enjoyed that tutorial on how to do a push up correctly for beginners to advanced, using 3 different modifications.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.