The push up is a simple yet effective ways to build real world strength and a great looking upper body. Learn more about the basics  of good push up form as well as some tips on getting started for beginners.

Standard Push Up Form

Push Up Form

  • Starting position: Place your hands and feet on the ground slightly wider than your shoulders. Hold your mid-section taut and keep your back and neck in as straight a line as possible. Position your head so that you are looking at a spot on the ground 12 inches in front of your hands.
  • Movement: Keeping your mid-section straight, slowly lower you entire body until your chest lightly touches the ground and then push back up. The repetition should take between 3-4 seconds.

Push Ups for Beginners

When you are just getting started, doing even a few push ups is tough. Don’t let that stop you from starting a strength training program. In place of standard push ups, you can substitute modified and incline push ups. These methods lighten the load, and allow you to work up to full bodyweight push ups.

Modified Push Up

Modified: Modified the push up by dropping to your knees, while still keeping the back straight. These are great for beginners and for others who need to scale down the difficulty of an exercise mid-set instead of cutting the set short.

Incline Push UpIncline: Push off against something that is higher than your feet, whether it’s a box, chair, or even the wall. The higher you place your arms, the easier the exercise becomes.