Push-up is a common bodyweight exercise that most of us dread, well except the fitness freaks. It engages the muscles of your entire body, requiring immense strength to lift the weight of your body. It primarily targets the muscles of your core and is equally effective on legs and arms.
Push-ups are a form of calisthenic exercise. Calisthenic training involves any exercises performed using no added weight but your own body weight, and is commonly referred to as body-weight training.
Undoubtedly, this compound exercise might look simple to perform but isn’t easy to master. Not only beginners, even trained fitness enthusiasts can sometimes go wrong when performing this exercise. Performing many repetitions with an incorrect form, being too fast, or putting too much pressure may reduce the effectiveness of the workout.
If push-ups are a part of your daily workout routine, here are key takeaways from a TOI article
For this exercise, it is important to place your hands perpendicular to the shoulders to target the correct muscles. Keeping the hands incorrectly may reduce the benefits of the exercise or you may end up hurting yourself by forcing pressure elsewhere. However, for beginners, due to stiff muscles and inadequate internal rotation, it may be difficult to keep the wrist directly under the shoulders. If you have just begun your fitness journey, you can keep your wrist a little inclined. Make sure, this does not turn into a habit.
When exercising, we tend to perform the form that feels easier for the body. Looking downward while doing push-ups indeed makes it easier for you to go up and down. But it cannot be overlooked that it also makes the exercise less effective. Besides, it puts unnecessary strain on the neck and increases the risk of pain and injury. To gain the most from the exercise, when performing push-ups, try to keep your neck stable and look ahead.
In push-ups, your body needs to be aligned – from tip to toes, it should be in a straight line. But most people drop their hips while going down. Saggy hips are mainly caused due to weak, stiff hip muscles or restricted movement of the hips. Working on these muscles and hip openers may help you maintain your posture and target the right set of muscles.
Taking the hips toward the ceiling is another easy technique, but moreover, a common mistake people make when performing this full-body exercise. While going up pushing your hips towards the ceiling makes the form easier, and increases your repetitions but that is because it does not engage your core muscles. It targets the wrong muscle and reduces the effectiveness of this exercise.
No matter what exercise you perform, compound or isolation, easy or difficult – it is crucial to complete the repetition with the correct form. Going too fast may compromise your form and put you at the risk of injury and muscle pain. Always perform the exercise at moderate intensity and make sure your form is correct. Increasing the number of repetitions is futile if your form is not correct.