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If you want to do push-ups properly, you are in good hands here.

In this article I will show you the most common sources of error and introduce you to 10 different push-ups that you can use to continuously increase your level.

You also get all of this presented in a video tutorial.

Let’s get started!

The push-up should not be missing in any bodyweight training plan.

It is a great exercise, especially to get the back of your upper arm ( Triceps), your chest muscles (pectoralis) and your shoulder muscles (deltoideus). In addition, many other muscles are involved due to the necessary body tension.

You will also find the exercise in different variants in my three free training plans.

Important: If you can do push-ups correctly, this ensures better training success and fewer injuries.

The wrong execution, on the other hand, can not only cost you valuable time because your training is pointless, but in the worst case it can also lead to injuries that you cause through excessive strain or improper strain.

But what is the difference between a correct and a wrong push-up?

Let’s look at that now.

Mistake 1: The Chicken

No, we are not in the fast food restaurant.

It’s about your arms.

They should be placed close to the body. In such a way that your elbows do not move outwards, but point backwards towards your legs when you bend your arms.

Mistake 2: The Jedi

A correctly performed push-up begins with arms extended and ends there too. In between, your chest should almost touch the floor.

A good test is to simply lift your palms off the floor when you are in the down position.

If you then need Jedi powers to avoid hitting the ground, you’ve stopped too high.

Mistake 3: The worm

Push-ups are performed with a straight body (with a few special exceptions, for example dives).

That means, your upper body and your legs form a line.

This is especially important for your back. It will be in touch when you start to sag.

Mistake 4: The Kisser

What do I mean by that?

Very simple: Your chest and not your head or face touch the ground (first).

Often the head is strongly hyperextended to be “closer” to the ground.

This is really no relief for your throat and neck area.

Remember: the chest is touching the floor.

Mistake 5: The Poser

It’s best to start right away with one of the most difficult push-up variations?

One-arm push-ups look cool, but as you can see in this picture, they overwhelmed me at the beginning. So choose the push-up variant carefully!

Not such a good idea. You would overwhelm yourself and your technique will suffer.

Doing push-ups correctly is then just a pious wish.

So stay on the ground and choose a push-up variant of which you can do at least 8 clean repetitions at a time.

The opposite can also happen: You can do 50 classic push-ups and have never tried a more difficult variant like the one-armed push-up?

Then it’s time. More is not always better. Above all, it hardly makes you stronger, just more persistent.

Mistake 6: The wet sack

Gravity has its pitfalls.

But also its advantages.

You could just drop down and push yourself up again.

Like a wet sack.

But then you are giving away the potential that the eccentric (yielding) muscle load holds ready.

Doing push-ups correctly in 6 steps

I would now like to summarize positively what you have to pay attention to when doing correct push-ups:

  1. Pay attention to the correct hand and elbow position!
  2. Do full repetitions!
  3. Keep your body straight!
  4. Keep your head in line with your body!
  5. Choose push-ups that match your strength level and training goal and that allow you to perform the technique properly!
  6. Carry out concentric and eccentric movements in a controlled manner!

In the following video I will also show you visually how you can do push-ups correctly (error number 6 is missing in the video, I only noticed it when I was writing the article). If you have problems with your wrists, mobility exercises like here can help.

10 push-up variants from easy to difficult

You will also find 10 different push-up options from easy to difficult in the video.

Choose the variant that best suits your training goal:

  1. Wall push-ups
    You support yourself with your hands on a wall, a very simple variant.
  2. Table push-ups
    You support yourself with your hands on a table or a similar stable elevation. A simple variant.
  3. Armchair loungers
    As the name suggests – prop yourself up on an armchair with your hands. A simple variant.
  4. Knee pushups
    They are also known as ladies pushups. You support yourself with your hands on the floor, but you bend your legs. A simple variant
  5. Pushups – The classic.
  6. Scorpion pushups. You prop yourself up on the floor and lift one leg while bending your arms. A medium-heavy variant.
  7. Push-ups with slightly raised legs
    You put your feet on an armchair and thus have more weight on your arms. A medium-heavy variant.
  8. Push-ups with greatly raised legs – Your feet are now at table height. A medium-heavy variant.
  9. Handstand push-ups
    To do this, you go into a handstand and lean your back or your feet against a wall. A difficult variant (which is actually no longer a real push-up).
  10. One-armed push-ups – The supreme discipline. The variant that I am presenting here is still beginner-friendly, as it is carried out with legs apart. To train for this, you can, for example, do one-arm push-ups on an elevation.

If you want to build muscle, you should be able to do at least 8 correct repetitions. Then you can use it to complete 2-4 training sets with a 2-minute break each and have completed a very effective workout for your upper body. You can stick to the exercise you choose until you can do 15 repetitions. Then you should choose a more difficult exercise if you want to keep building muscle.

You can find more about muscle building in this article.

You can find even more push-up variants here on my blog or on fitvolution.de, where fitness blogger Jahn has called for a push-up challenge (# 22kill).

Conclusion

Doing pushups right is not difficult if you avoid common mistakes.

I showed you how to do that in this article.

Here again the summary of the 6 steps to correct push-ups :

  1. Pay attention to the correct hand and elbow position!
  2. Do full repetitions!
  3. Keep your body straight!
  4. Keep your head in line with your body!
  5. Choose push-ups that match your strength level and training goal and that allow you to perform the technique properly!
  6. Carry out concentric and eccentric movements in a controlled manner!

I hope you enjoy getting stronger!

What common mistakes did you discover in yourself? Which type of push-up is your favorite?

Leave me a comment with your opinion, I would be very happy!

PS: If you want to learn how to do (half) squats properly, read this article.

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