How to Do a Perfect Push-Up

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A perfect push-up is a great exercise for strength training, and it involves getting on the toes, keeping the legs straight, the butt tight and the stomach tight. Learn about using controlled movements when doing push-ups with help from a certified sports performance nutrition advisor in this free video on the perfect push-up.

Part of the Video Series: Exercise Techniques & Personal Training
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Ashleigh Gass, strength conditioning specialist with How do you do a perfect push up? Well, a push up is a very common strength training exercise. I'm going to address a couple of key issue and really teach you how to do this well. First of all, when you're doing a push up the purpose of it is to usually build strength through your chest muscles. And one of the key things is to stretch these muscles out properly before you start doing push ups. Very rarely do people stretch before they do any strength training. So I'll teach you that first. So a basic chest stretch, just find a wall, palm against the wall, you can keep your elbow slightly bent for starters and just rotate your body away until you feel a stretch through the front of your shoulder and your chest. Now if you're really tight through this area, you might want to begin with your elbow bent. And as you begin to loosen up, walk away and straighten your elbow. How long do you hold the stretch for? It really depends but anywhere generally from fifteen to thirty seconds as a starting point. Once you've stretched out both sides, then you're ready to begin doing some push ups. So there's two styles of push ups that I'll demonstrate. If you're brand new, and you've never done a push up before, this would be a good starting point. In other words, on your knees. So, placement of your hands, make sure that they're shoulder width apart. O.K., so that'll, that's one step to protect your shoulders. Step two, again if you're a beginner, knees and feet on the ground. Now, as you go into your push up, keep your elbows close to your sides. And initially, that might be a little bit too much depth, if you're just a beginner. However, if you can go full range, go full range. If not, you might just find half way down, and back up works for you as well. If you're more advanced, a full push up would be appropriate. So a full push up is when you're just on your toes, legs are straight, butt nice and tight, stomach nice and tight. Full range, elbows at your sides, and back up again, and down, and back up. So you'll notice that my speed of movement is fairly controlled, and I work to get full range motion. Those are important. So, the stretch beforehand was just meant to loosen up some of the muscles that are used in the push up which leads to less likelihood of injury. Thanks, I'm Ashleigh Gass, strength conditioning specialist with


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