Tuesday Tip: How to do a Proper Push-Up

Deborah Ivey waves her finger in dismay as Sarah Ryrie performs an improper push-up. Ryrie's head, neck and back are not aligned straight as they should be.
Deborah Ivey waves her finger in dismay as Sarah Ryrie performs an improper push-up. Ryrie's head, neck and back are not aligned straight as they should be.

(Windsor, Ontario) – This week's Tuesday Tip comes from Deborah Ivey, Co-ordinator of the Fitness & Health Promotion program. She provides some insight into how to do a proper push-up.

Firstly, Ivey recommends a modified push-up form for beginners – which means balancing on your knees rather than your toes, which is more advanced.

"It's better to do proper push-ups with good form as opposed to sloppy push-ups," explains Ivey. "If we can modify it to make it easier, then you'll be able to do more. And you can always make it harder later."

Ivey says to keep your hands shoulder-distance apart. She says it is important for your whole upper body – head, neck and spine – to form a straight "neutral" line for a proper push-up. Avoid sticking your butt in the air, which is a common mistake.

"Breathe in as you go down and out as you come up," states Ivey. You should do as many as you can until getting fatigued, then add two or so each day to build up to more, suggests Ivey.

Push-ups are an easy exercise that can be done anywhere, don't require equipment and strengthen a lot of upper body and core muscles, which is why they are one of the most important basic exercises that should be part of a daily routine, recommends Ivey.

Deborah Ivey gives a thumbs up for approval for Sarah Ryrie's proper form, with a nice, straight alignment of her head, neck and back.
Deborah Ivey gives a thumbs up for approval for Sarah Ryrie's proper form, with a nice, straight alignment of her head, neck and back.
Deborah Ivey, left, does a more advanced push-up balancing on her toes, while Sarah Ryrie does a modified push-up balancing on her knees.
Deborah Ivey, left, does a more advanced push-up balancing on her toes, while Sarah Ryrie does a modified push-up balancing on her knees.
Deborah Ivey and Sarah Ryrie do some push-ups together.
Deborah Ivey and Sarah Ryrie do some push-ups together.
Deborah Ivey and Sarah Ryrie high-five after doing push-ups together.
Deborah Ivey and Sarah Ryrie high-five after doing push-ups together.
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