How to Correctly Do a Push Up


proper push up form


Push ups can be hard enough even when done correctly; Doing them incorrectly can leave you with residual shoulder pain for a day or two.

Push ups begin with core strength. If you are not strong enough to do push ups from your feet then there is nothing wrong with doing them with your knees on the ground. If you are really trying to perfect your form for the sake of your shoulders then try doing push ups from your knees so that you can focus on form.

When your shoulder shifts forward in socket it places a lot of shearing forces on the front of the shoulder. This and poor shoulder blade stability is usually the cause of shoulder soreness after push ups.

Checkout our YouTube video below on how to correctly do a push up

Video Transcription: Welcome back to Foundation Physical Therapy’s YouTube Channel. My name is Christian Compean. I’m a physical therapist fellowship training in orthopedics. Today I’m going to show you a good way to kind of start being a little more proficient at your pushups. Make sure you’re doing them with good form. Especially if you have any kind of shoulder pain or lower back pain while you’re doing pushups. Doesn’ t mean pushups aren’t for you it just means you need little cues, you need some cueing to make sure you do it correctly. This band here is going to do two things. It’s going to make sure that I stabilize my shoulder a little bit better and the other thing its going to do is it’s going to make sure I don’t go too far down into my pushup and hurt my shoulder. If you’re pushing up here and you come way far down and that shoulder comes forward that puts a lot of stress on the front of the shoulder. So what we’re going to do with this band is we’re going to set it on our forearms at a position when my chest comes down and touches that band I’m done and I know my shoulder is in a safe position. So we start out by getting the arms about shoulder width apart, a little wider is okay. There are various different types of pushups but this one is going to be just your standard arms forward pushup. So the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to lie down and I’m going to learn to engage my core with every pushup. So once I get here I want to pull my abdominals in so that I feel like I’m creating a little cavity just under my stomach here. So I pull it in and I really try to prevent my back from arching up and I’ll try to demonstrate a good push up and a bad one. And so once you’re here, again the first thing I do is engage my core to keep it flat and I’m here and then I come up okay. And now I have that band there so my chest doesn’t have to go all the way to the floor. I come here then I come straight up. Now at that point I shouldn’t get my shoulders shifting way forward like this right. I use the band to tell me to stop and then come up. But the whole time I’m trying to keep my back flat. Now a bad push up would be if I allow my back to arch and then I kind of do this. Right at this point I’ve put my shoulder in a bad position and my lumbar spine is in a bad positon that’s going to cause a lot of pressure on my low back. That’s just a quick variation on push ups that’s going to help if they’re giving you any kind of shoulder pain or low back pain. Remember push ups are a fantastic exercise and they get a lot done. Its not just a chest and tricep exercise. It works on core stability, it works on good form so I’m a fan of push ups so long as they’re done correctly so again we remind you that movement is a gift and we hope that you like these video sand if you do then we hope that you like these videos and if you do then please share them with others or subscribe to our channel and enjoy