Mastering the Push-Up: Proper Technique Unveiled!

Push-ups are a timeless exercise known to many since high school gym class, where a gym personal trainer often introduced them, yet they often must be executed better or avoided altogether. Regardless of your fitness level, push-ups remain a formidable challenge. You’re pitted against your muscle mass, striving to lift the weight of your entire body – it’s no walk in the park!

We understand that many of our clients are initially intimidated by this exercise, which demands strength and precise execution. But fear not; with dedicated practice and expert guidance, mastering the elusive push-up is entirely within your reach. Here’s a step-by-step progression to help you achieve that goal:

Step 1: High Plank

Before diving into push-ups, let’s start with the fundamentals – the high plank. Follow these steps:

  • Position your palms on the floor, slightly outside shoulder-width apart at chest level.
  • Maintain a slight bend in your elbows to prevent hyperextension.
  • Space your feet hip-width apart, keeping them parallel.
  • Engage your core muscles, pulling your navel in and contracting your abdominals.
  • Hold a high plank for at least 60 seconds before moving on to the next step – wall push-ups.

Step 2: Wall Push-Ups

Stand at arm’s length from a wall and proceed as follows:

  • Place your palms on the wall at shoulder height, slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Step back, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.
  • Keep your weight on the balls of your feet as you bend your elbows.
  • Ensure your shoulder blades retract during the movement, and remember to engage your core, lats, and glutes.
  • Pause briefly when your upper arms align with your back, then press against the wall, squeezing your chest to return to the starting position. Aim to perform 15 wall push-ups before advancing to modified negatives.

Step 3: Modified Negative Push-Ups

Begin in a kneeling position and follow these steps:

  • Walk your hands forward to create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Maintain the hand positioning you practiced earlier – hands slightly outside shoulder width at chest level.
  • Slowly lower yourself to the floor until you’re lying flat, applying the same muscle control from wall push-ups.
  • Squeeze your core, lats, and glutes as your shoulder blades retract during the descent.
  • To return to the starting position, either press against the floor while squeezing your chest or roll onto your side and restart.
  • Aim to perform ten modified negatives with control before progressing to negative push-ups.

Step 4: Negative Push-Ups


Negative push-ups follow the same principles as modified negatives but challenge you further. Keep these points in mind:

  • Maintain your feet hip-width apart and parallel like in a high plank.
  • Slowly lower yourself from your palms to your toes, applying the same muscle control.
  • Once you can comfortably execute ten negative push-ups, it’s time to move on to modified push-ups.

Step 5: Modified Push-Ups

Starting in the modified negative position, proceed as follows:

  • Gradually lower yourself until your upper arms align with your back, maintaining muscle control as before.
  • Squeeze your core, lats, and glutes while retracting your shoulder blades during the descent.
  • To return to the starting position, press against the floor while squeezing your chest.
  • Aim for ten well-controlled modified push-ups before advancing to standard push-ups.


Finally, you’re ready for the real deal! Here’s how to perform a standard push-up:

  • Begin in a high plank position, maintaining the muscle control you’ve honed.
  • Execute the push-up with your toes on the ground and your feet hip-width apart, keeping them parallel.

Tips for Success and Safety

  • Maintain an engaged core to prevent lower back arching, which can lead to pain and injury.
  • Avoid shoulder blade elevation; keep your shoulders away from your ears to focus tension on your chest.
  • Aim to maintain a 45-degree angle between your elbows and your body for proper form.

Consistency is Key

Remember, consistency is the cornerstone of success. We recommend practicing push-ups at least twice weekly for steady progress, but aim for 3-4 sessions to expedite your journey. Be patient, stay committed, and don’t hesitate to contact us for hands-on support and more fitness tips. You’ve got this!