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How To Perform a Push Up Correctly

Updated on August 27, 2017
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A fellow human who loves his planet and beyond, with interests that match and never end. One life. One love. Appreciate everything.

Some Push up Humor

There are Many Different Types of Push Ups you Can Perform

Push ups are one of those exercises that if you are not doing them you should be.

Doing this one exercise works your chest muscles along with back stabilizing muscles, your shoulders and triceps and best of all it helps to strengthen your core area.

Core training is a very hot topic these days because everyone now knows how important it is to make sure you train your core. A strong core means a strong body.

There are many variations you can do with push ups that will help you to focus more on other muscle groups like shoulders, upper chest, triceps and your core area.

Different types of push ups include decline push up, push ups using dumbbells, push ups with one hand alternating on a medicine ball, Spiderman push ups, push ups on a stability ball and so on, push up with one foot raised in the air alternating them.

There are quite a few ways to do them which are important because you want to keep changing exercises up in any exercise program to keep challenging your body to work harder to get the results you want.

I am going to show you how to do some of these different exercises so you can keep advancing in your workouts and beat being bored while working out.

If you are going to be trying some of these push ups make sure you are able to do quite a few regular push ups with no problem as most of these are not beginning level push ups. Beginner push ups can be found close to the bottom of this article. I don’t want you to get hurt. Let’s get started.

Push Up Positions

Instructions on Decline Push Ups


Decline push up

To perform a decline push up find a bench or a stability ball like a Pilates ball and get down on the floor in a push up position with your feet elevated up on top of either the bench or the ball you are using.

If you use a ball instead of a bench you will be using your core more to help stabilize you therefore getting more out of using a ball than bench.

When performing these push ups do them the same as a standard push up. The only difference is that your feet are raised and you are now stressing your upper pectorals and your anterior (front) and lateral (side) heads of your shoulders.

Start this one slowly and make sure your form is strict because your shoulders are a bit vulnerable for injury in this position.

Don’t let that scare you though as this is a great way to stress your chest from a different angle including your shoulders and core.

How to Perform a Decline Push up

Instructions on performing a medicine ball Push Up


Alternating medicine ball push up

This is a very fun way to do your push up. It is also a really hard way but worth trying.

If you do not have a medicine ball you can use something else like a paint can or something firm enough to take your weight and stable enough so it doesn’t move on you and you end up hurting yourself.

Starting position is just like a regular push up on the floor but with one of your hands up on the medicine ball.

Lower yourself as you normally would and when you push up you are to push up and over so that your other hand will be on the medicine ball and the hand that was on the medicine ball originally is now on the floor when you are in the top position.

Lower yourself again and when pushing back up move over so that your other hand is now back on the ball and hand that was just on the ball is now back on the floor.

You are working your core and stressing your chest with the up and down and side movements as well. Probably some should muscle in there as well.   

Instructions on the Spiderman Push Up


Spiderman Push up

This version of a push up is a great chest and core exercise.

Start off by getting into a regular push up position. When lowering yourself take your left leg and bring it up beside you bending your knee so that your thigh is coming towards your torso like it would be if you were scaling the side of a building like Spiderman would.

As you start to push back up also start to put your leg back to the starting position. Do another repetition using your other leg. Every time you do a rep alternate the leg you bring up to your torso. It is best to do this movement at a slower pace.

This one will force your core to work harder and also your chest to work harder because you are slowing down the speed of the push up.

How To Perform a Spiderman Push Up

How To Do Push Ups for Beginners and Girls

The push ups listed above are great especially if you already know the basics. An easy way to do push ups is to do what some call a girl push up. This push up is performed by laying on your stomach placing your hands about shoulder width or more apart up by your shoulders.

Push yourself up keeping your knees on the floor. From the top position slowly lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor the push yourself back up to the beginning position.

That is a girl push up or what I would consider a beginners push up. Watch the instructional video if you are still not sure on how to perform this exercise.

How To Perform a Girl Push Up

Instructions on Performing Dumbbell Push Ups

Dumbbell push up

This is a great movement to really stretch your pectoral muscles and get them pumped up and full of blood.

You can use a couple of dumbbells or even a couple of paint cans or I have even down this one with my hands on chairs and my feet elevated at the same height.

This is a regular push up but you are getting more of a stretch because you are lowering your body lower than you would if your hands were just on the floor.

If you are using dumbbells make sure to use hexagon dumbbells or do your push ups on carpet so there is less likelihood the weights will roll out on you. Instructional Push up video below.

Final thoughts

Just remember that no matter which variations you try out to make sure you take your time doing them. Slow and steady wins the race.

Once you hurt yourself it will be easier to hurt yourself the next time.

I hope you enjoy the different variations I have presented to you. They have been great exercises for me over the years. Enjoy.

How To Do a Dumbbell Push Up

The Spiderman Push Up is a great chest and core exercise. Give it a try to see how you like it.
The Spiderman Push Up is a great chest and core exercise. Give it a try to see how you like it.


Submit a Comment

  • Grant's World profile image

    Grant Handford 7 years ago from Canada

    thanks brightnewday.


  • brightnewday profile image

    brightnewday 7 years ago from USA

    Very good info and list. Thanks.