How To Do A Perfect Push-Up

How To Do A Perfect Push-Up

Almost any workout routine calls for push-ups. No matter your advancement in size and strength, push-ups are essential to your workout. Yet, practically nobody does them right. After working with some pretty awesome trainers in my day, I even realized I wasn’t doing them right. So if you are looking at this thinking…”Whatever, I know how to do a push-up,” then read on and find out. In this post I’m going to show you How To Do A Perfect Push-Up. What you find out might surprise you!

So Why Push-Ups?

The Push-Up is the most basic exercise there is. If you want to do a little exercise and tone up the body…you can’t go wrong with starting a push-up regimen. Even our own military swears by this basic exercise for getting our troops into shape in order to protect us here and over seas. That is because this exercise does it all. Push-ups fire up the entire body and will not only tone you up, but you will notice more power and speed in your movement as well as improved balance and agility. Doing them wrong can actually cause you long-term harm. Have you ever done a push-up and your wrists hurt, or you get an ache in your elbows? Maybe it feels like you continue to struggle to do push-ups no matter how many or how often you do them? These are all the long-term signs you are more than likely doing them wrong. However, if you haven’t experienced these things yet, it doesn’t hurt to learn to do them right before issues do arise…so lets go!


Quality over quantity is the key in push-ups as with any workout, and quality starts with your form. With good form you can do less push-ups and get better results than the guy in the picture above this post. With bad posture you can do almost twice the push-ups and miss out on big gains versus doing less push-ups with perfect form.

  • You want to set up with your arms just a little past shoulder-width apart. When it comes to your hands, the middle finger should point away from you parallel from each other. However, this placement actually hurts my wrists as also for some of my other friends. If you share in this as well, just turn your hands slightly inward towards each other just a little bit, the stress on the wrist goes away!


  • Feet usually are shoulder width apart, but you can have them touching for spread out…whatever is comfortable. Wider will actually bring more stability, but at the loss of your body gaining strength from having to balance.


  • Make your butt, back, and legs into a straight line. This is where most people actually fail! In my other post, Push-Ups For Beginners, one of my tips to ensuring you are nice and straight from head to foot is picturing your body as one straight line. The most common mistake is the butt in the air. By tightening your glutes you will notice more control and not break form by your butt hitting the air. Tightening your chest and abs will help control your back. This does make the exercise a little more difficult but works more muscles and also brings good posture…which is the point of the exercise in the first place!


  • Look out about three feet. Never look down or far out causing your head to go up. Either direction will cause too much strain on your neck and shoulder muscles and could actually harm you over time. By just looking slightly forward, you are ensuring ease of pressure while doing the push-up.


  • Arms should be straight and fully supporting the weight.

Go Down

  • Go down steadily making sure your elbows are staying in and not sticking out.


  • Lower until your arms for a 90 degree angle. This qualifies as one push-up but you can go as far as your chest hitting the ground if comfortable. You will get better results the further you go.

Push Up

  • Once reaching desired level, push yourself back up with your arms in a steady burst of power.
  • Rise up until reaching the starting position with arms straight and body still in a perfect line.

Here Is What Perfect Form Looks Like!!!

“Can’t Do A Push-Up”

If you can’t complete one repetition that is a bad sign that you are extremely weak in the upper body and core area, out of shape, or both…but no worries!!! In my site Push-Ups for Beginners I go through different modified variations that will get you back in the game in no time. Also, you may benefit from using a push-up bar as well. Check out my Modern Fitness Multi-Gym Pull-Up Bar Review to pick the one that will work best for you! As always, feel free to share and comment below.



  1. Oh I do wish I could do a perfect push up like that ! My son did competitive gymnastics for 13 years, and he could do a lot of perfect push ups. He still does them. I am going to look at your variations, and get my arms in shape. You are right! My upper body is terribly out of shape 🙁

  2. Crazy that something so basic can be so effective. I do pushups in my daily routine. I didn’t realize I was doing them incorrectly. From now on I will keep my head looking 3 feet out in front of me. Great post, I guess you DO learn something new everyday.

  3. Great advice here for how to properly do a push up. I do a lot of them myself and for me the key is to focus on keeping my core tight throughout the movement. I see so many people who let their lower back and butt sag and it pains me to watch them. Unfortunately, that is an easy thing to do. The video is a great addition for people to see the proper form. I am a very visual person. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Steve, I thought the video would be a helpful touch as well. Yeah I can go to the gym and watch people do yoga, lift weights, aerobics, etc, and then they go down and do push-ups with their butt hanging on or only go down half way and it’s like SERIOIUSLY?!

  4. With gymnasts, everything is about balance and posture. It is no surprise to me your son would be one of the few that do it right! The modifications on my post will be a gentler way to introduce push-ups into your life again. Good Luck!!!

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