Ask Your Trainer: What is the Best Way to Do Push Ups?

Welcome back to another edition of Ask Your Trainer. We’ve gotten a ton of great questions so keep them coming. You can just leave a comment on this blog post or follow our shenanigens on Facebook and post your questions there.

Today’s question comes from one of our clients, Nikla, who was asking about the proper push up technique. Her question was specifically “why do we concentrate on keeping our eyes up on push ups instead of going nose to the ground?”

This is a great question. At DPT we do focus on performing push ups while looking ahead. You don’t want to mistake that for looking “up” because the goal of the push up is to make it a full body exercise and that starts with having a straight back and neutral alignment.

Think about having a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.

This means when you do your push ups, you should look slightly ahead to maintain that neutral alignment. This does a couple of things.

#1- It keeps your back flat and forces you to use your core and legs

#2- It keeps stress and strain off your neck

#3- It pushes you to lower your body down as a unit and not just chest or head first

Just a side note, when you are doing push ups, you should focus on squeezing your glutes (butt), abs, lower back and upper back all at the same time.

Remember I mentioned a full body exercise?

There you go. In doing this you’ve engaged your entire core, upper and lower body. Awesomeness.

Now to the next point, lowering your nose to the floor.

You should absolutely try to get your nose to the floor, BUT do it with a neutral back and neck alignment. That means you’re getting all the way down, but you’re not leading with your head.

Leading head first puts undo stress on the shoulder capsule and also on the neck. Plus it just doesn’t look cool 🙂

Focus on getting full range of motion and getting your nose to the ground but keeping your eyes ahead. That’s a full range, bad ass push up.

Leave a comment here if you have any questions specifically about this Q&A or if you have a question you’d like answered in the next edition.