Man showing the perfect push up form

Push ups are one of the best known and most effective bodyweight exercises! You can perform them anywhere without the need for external equipment and allow you to activate multiple muscles at the same time. The number of reps definitely has an impact on the results you will get, but what is really crucial is a proper execution of this exercise. Let´s see 3 tips for the right push up form.

What you will learn in this article:

How to reach the perfect push up form

Don’t shrug your shoulders

Man showing bad shoulders position in push up
Man showing good shoulders position for the Right push up form

Shrugging your shoulders towards your ears can lead to tight upper traps, less pec activation and a higher risk of shoulder injuries. To prevent this from happening, pull your shoulders away from your ears and into a stable & locked position.

If you’re used to shrugging, don’t be discouraged that the correction will be quite challenging at first. You will do a lot fewer reps than you’re used to, but in the long term you will progress much faster in every possible way.

Shift your weight for the right push up form

  • Man showing the difference with the proper position for a push up and a wrong one
  • Man showing Weight shifting for The right push up form

Shifting your weight is essential to allow the shoulder and shoulder blade a free and smooth movement. Without the weight shift you are also more likely to shrug your shoulders and flare your elbows out. Please don’t overdo the lean! In the starting position your shoulder is still in a vertical line above your wrist.

When you go down you only move a bit forward so that the tips of your fingers are at the same height as your middle and upper pecs. When you neglect the weight shift your fingertips are usually at about neck height.

Breathe naturally

Man Breathing during a push up execution
Man showing how to breath whild doing push ups

When you ask most people about the right breathing technique they will tell you that you should exhale during the highest exertion. So when you’re doing push-ups, you inhale as you lower your body and exhale as you push back up.

This works quite well when you’re doing push ups with a slow rep speed but is very impractical when you pump out your reps very quickly. So if you’re working with a higher rep speed we suggest breathing naturally without any specific pattern.

Looking for a comprehensive workout that also shows you how to do all the exercises correctly? Check out our workout programs.

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