Health & Fitness

Are You Making This Common Push-Up Mistake?

  • Mar 13, 2024
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Are You Making This Common Push-Up Mistake?

The push-up is one of the best bodyweight exercises you can do, and possibly the most well-known exercise of all. However, there’s a difference between knowing an exercise and knowing how to execute it perfectly to get the most from the movement, and if you take the time to nail your technique with the push-up you’ll increase its effectiveness.

One of the most important things to pay attention to when performing push-ups is your elbow position, because how much you flare your elbows during the exercise will change the muscles you’re predominantly targeting during the move.

The Fitness Group, which provides personal training courses, to get his advice on how to do a push-up and his top tip for elbows position was to think about forming an arrowhead with your upper body.
About Our Expert
About Our Expert
Alasdair Nicoll
The Fitness Group, which provides personal training courses, and a level 3 personal trainer himself. Nicoll has been a personal trainer since 2018 and also has a BSc in Food Bioscience from Glasgow Caledonian University.

“You want to make sure that the direction in which the elbows are traveling is right,” says Nicoll. “You don’t want them traveling out to the side because that’s going to put unnecessary stress through the shoulder.

“If we were to look over the top of the person, we’d want to see an arrow shape from the head down to both elbows. They should be angling back at pretty much a 45° angle. That would be optimal for prioritizing the chest, and will also help to get a full range of motion through the chest.”

You’ll find more of Nicoll’s tips in our push-up form guide. And once you’ve nailed your technique, dive headfirst into this 30-day push-up challenge and build up to doing 100 push-ups in one go.


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