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What is the correct way to do a push up?

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What is the correct way to do a push up?

Postby cdoubled05 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:01 pm

I've been working out with a few partners lately and have been noticing different methods of push ups being done. I do my push ups with my elbows close to my body. My partner does his push ups with his hands and elbows further out. They look like two completely different push ups! Which one is the correct form to be utilizing?
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Postby Norman » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:04 pm

Hi !

On the 'workouts' page you will find some details on each exercise.
This is what I found regarding pushups :

http://www.simplefit.org/pix/pushup.gif

I believe each pushup form 'impacts' different muscles.

Hope this helps !
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Postby cdoubled05 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:34 pm

Wow, thats the way my partner does his. I'll try them this way for todays L1D3 and see how it goes. Thanks Norman!
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Postby cdoubled05 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:36 pm

You know I never noticed the workout section had pictures but, I did notice this...

"While lying horizontally face down, raise and lower your body using the arms while keeping your back flat. Try to keep elbows close to your sides."

Ok...now in the picture you linked his elbows seem to be opposite of close to your sides IMO. I think the way I do them fits the description more than the picture.
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Postby Norman » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:54 pm

Hmm, you are correct, it looks like there is a dissonance here.
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Postby Norman » Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:04 pm

I just watched some videos from fellow simplefitters, and it looks like both versions are used.

Maybe the variations from one form to the other are not really significant ?

Anyway, variety is good. But I cannot tell which one is the 'simplefit challenge' version....
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Postby scumdogg » Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:40 pm

With the elbows farther out from the body you're targeting your pecs and if you keep your elbows closer to your sides you'll target your triceps more. If you have a bodybuilding background you'll probably do pushups like benchpresses, with your elbows out, if you have a gymnastics background or want to pursue gymnastic exercises you should probably keep your elbows close so you can work up to doing a planche:

http://www.presstohandstand.com/pictures/Planche.jpg

I like to mix it up from workout to workout so that I get the best of both worlds while also keeping things interesting.

Hope that helps clear things up a bit.

P.S. I'm no where near being able to do a planche, but it's on my llist of really long-term goals.
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Postby cdoubled05 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:29 pm

Awesome, scumdogg cleared it up perfectly. Thanks guys. I think I'm going to incorporate your strategy as well and mix it up now and then.

Wowza, the planche looks very difficult. I am still struggling with learning to hold regular handstands. I do not use the wall to support myself because I've tried it a few times, got scared and bailed on my head. Definitely something I would also like to be able to do in the future.
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Postby Admin » Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:44 am

The push up picture I used is leaves a little to be desired as the elbows are out to far imho, I think push ups with elbow in are biomechanically better and build a better foundation for dips, hand stand push ups and the planche. That said variety is good as stated above and always listen to your body, don't force stuff.

Cheers
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Postby ucffool » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:19 pm

I do it elbows out because my triceps get a major workout from bodyrows. They'll be tucked in more once pull-ups are viable I think.
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Postby splint » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:46 am

I do elbows out like bench presses where my arms make a "T" with my body.

I do dips on the parallel bars at the park after the simplefit workout anyway so it makes sense for me to do the pushups with more focus on pecs rather than triceps.
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Postby braindx » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:31 am

splint wrote:I do elbows out like bench presses where my arms make a "T" with my body.


Pushups are generally fine like that because they are low intensity. You should NOT bench like that though as "elbows flared" has a tendency to produce scapular and rotator cuff problems.
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Postby splint » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:35 pm

braindx wrote:
splint wrote:I do elbows out like bench presses where my arms make a "T" with my body.


Pushups are generally fine like that because they are low intensity. You should NOT bench like that though as "elbows flared" has a tendency to produce scapular and rotator cuff problems.


I always benched with elbows flared and in fact I hit my PR that way. Several years ago, I read what you said here, that basically I've been doing them incorrectly. I made a conscious effort to put my elbows at about a 45 degree angle. I did it that way for a few years up until I started having elbow pain.

I have no idea whether they're related or not, I think probably not but I never had any problems with my elbows flared out either.

However, I did notice that when I do heavy dumbell presses, I naturally assume the 45 degree angle.
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