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8 Ways to Improve Your Push Up

A lot of people hate the dreaded push-up. The movement is a true challenge of your fitness, as it works your chest, shoulders, triceps, core, and glutes. The good news is that any type of push-up — from kneeling to regular to diamond to one-handed — will help to shred your "pushing" muscles very effectively.

Want to master that Push-Up quickly? Here are a few ways to improve your Push Up today.

1. Tighten Your Core

One of the main reasons you're struggling with the Push-Up could be because your back is dragging you down. If your core isn't properly engaged, the improper posture will shift your weight make the push-up harder. Tighten those core muscles to keep your body perfectly straight. This form will make the movement a lot easier!

2. Turn Your Hands Out

The position of your hands can make a huge difference on the movement of your arms, elbows, and shoulders. If your joints protest at the movement, try rotating your hands outward slightly (until the index finger is pointing forward). This can reduce the strain on your wrists and make the movement a bit easier on your joints.

3. Dig Your Fingers Into the Ground

If your wrists ache when you push-up, it's because your forearm muscles aren't supporting your weight — just the bones and joints. Dig your fingers into the ground as you push up, and it will help to take the weight off your wrists.

4. Focus on Your Butt

Specifically, the position of your butt. If it's too high, you're reducing core engagement and shifting the weight incorrectly. Too low and it drags your back down. As you tighten your core, focus on how high/low your butt is. Adjust your butt to engage your hips and core for better posture.

5. Keep Your Head Up

There is a natural tendency for beginners to drop their head toward the ground to make the push-ups easier. Resist that urge! Keep your neck muscles relaxed but your head firmly in place. This will keep your spine aligned in neutral position, reducing the risk of strains.

6. Less May be More

This is especially true if the push-ups are performed with the proper posture and executed to the right depth. It's better to do 3 perfect push-ups than 10 push-ups with bad posture. Focus on making each push-up perfect, and only add more reps as you are able to.

7. Spread Your Hands

Most instructors will tell you to put your hands directly beneath your shoulders to perform a push-up. But that could actually strain your wrists and reduce your range of motion. Instead, spread your hands just slightly wider than shoulder width. You'll find the muscle engagement and ease of motion will improve with a wider hand placement.

8. Do it Daily

If you're struggling with Push-Ups, it's likely from a lack of strength. The best way to build that strength: do push-ups every day. Do a 30-day challenge, starting with 1 push-up on Day 1 and adding one more for each day. By the end of that 30 days, you'll be much stronger!

Simple tricks, but they can make a huge difference in your push-up performance.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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