Pimp Your Push Up: 3 Common Mistakes and 5 Challenging Variations


1) You are not using proper form.

The most common mistake made by beginners is they don’t use correct form when doing push ups. They start with their hands too close together (like a plank position), then they go down and up again without taking into account the fact that it will cause them to lose balance, which will make them fall on their face or back.

You have to keep your arms straight while pushing yourself up. If you keep your arms straight, you won’t need to worry about losing balance.

2) You are not keeping your body aligned properly.

If you’re having trouble maintaining alignment while performing push ups, try doing them from different angles. Try standing on one foot and holding onto the other leg with both hands while bending at the knees.

Then, stand up slowly and hold for 30 seconds before lowering yourself down again. This exercise will help strengthen your core muscles and improve posture.

3) You are using a poor form.

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Push-ups are a full body exercise that engages your chest, shoulders, and arms. They work your core, abs, and back while improving your balance and flexibility too.

While you can do push ups anywhere and at anytime, you should only use proper form when doing them. If you don’t have time for a proper workout or for the gym, try doing push ups to stay in shape.

5 Common Push-Up Mistakes

1) Placing your hands too far apart

Your hands should be placed slightly outside your shoulders when you do a push-up. If your hands are too far apart, you will lose your balance and will fall forward.

If your hands are too close together, you will lose the effect in your chest and arms.

2) Bending your elbows too much

Your arms should be completely straight when you do a push-up. If you don’t, you will place too much pressure on your joints and could hurt yourself.

Also, you won’t place as much stress on your chest muscles and will waste time and energy.

3) Allowing your hips to sag

Your body should form a straight line from your neck to your ankles when you do a push-up. If your hips sag and your back curves, you’ll place too much stress on your lower back and won’t work the upper part of your chest.

4) Allowing your knees to touch the ground

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Your knees should be slightly bent when you do a push-up. If you allow your knees to touch the ground, you will lose the effect in your thigh muscles.

Also, keeping your legs stiff will place more force on your chest.

5) Breathing incorrectly

Holding your breath and breathing incorrectly while doing a push-up won’t give your body enough oxygen. You’ll lose strength in no time and will tire out quickly.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth while performing a push-up. Inhale before lowering yourself, and exhale as you push up.

This concludes the “Pimp My Push Up” section of our article. We hope you enjoyed it!

The next section is part two of our article. We will be discussing how to do a proper push up for beginners.

Part 2: How To Do A Proper Push Up

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If you’re a beginner and you’ve never done a push up before, don’t worry we have you covered. There are various ways to help you start out and get your muscles used to the exercise.

Here are some great ways for a beginner to start doing push-ups.

1) Starting From Your Knees

If you’re really out of shape or you have a bad back, start off from your knees. Put your hands close together and slightly bend your elbows.

Keep your back straight and lower yourself until your chest lowers to just before your fists. Then push yourself back up and repeat. This helps get you use to the movement of lowering yourself and pushing back up.

2) Starting From Your Toes

This exercise is a little harder than starting from your knees, but it helps if you want to build up your strength. Place the bottoms of your feet together and keep your legs as straight as you can.

The bend your elbows and lower yourself just like before. When lowering yourself, try to keep your back as straight as possible.

3) Lowering Yourself Slowly

If you’re really trying to work on your strength, try lowering yourself as slowly as you can. However, it is recommended that you go slow anyway because it helps build up your muscles and improve your balance.

Go down in one smooth motion and push yourself back up the same way.

Well, now that you know how to do a proper push up, the next section will show you some cool variations that you can try out!

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Part 3: Push Up Variations

There are many different push up variations that you can do to increase your strength and give variety to your workout program. The next few sections will go over some of the most popular variations of push-ups.

1) Clapping Push Ups

Clapping push-ups are, as the name suggests, push-ups where you force yourself up off the ground hard enough to clap your hands above your head. This is very hard and you may not be able to do it the first time you try.

Always strive to improve and work your way up to it!

2) One Arm Push Up

One arm push-ups are exactly what they sound like. Perform a normal push-up except using only one arm to lift yourself, while balancing on the other.

Once you can do these comfortably with one arm, try using each arm alternately to make it even harder.

3) Pike Push Up

The pike push-up is a type of push-up that works your core in addition to your arms and chest. To do this movement you need to get into a “pike” position or something similar to the start of a pushup.

Use your knees to bring your head down to your hands. This movement primarily works your abs, but the rest of your body still participates to some degree.

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4) Step-Ups

Step-ups are a great way to train your legs and core. To do them, find a bench, stair, or anything else that’s about knee height.

Place both feet on the platform and then lift your hips and torso until you are standing straight up. Then bring one foot off the platform and bring it back down again. Repeat with the other foot and continue the process.

5) Single Leg Step-Ups

This is very similar to the step-ups except you are elevating one leg at a time rather than both. This can be more difficult because you have to constantly adjust your center of gravity.

6) Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are great for warming up your whole body, especially your arms and legs. They also help get your blood flowing and heart rate up which is beneficial for physical improvement.

7) Push-Up and Rotate

Push-ups where you swing your arms from side to side are a great way to work different muscles in your chest and arms. Try doing a normal push-up and then bring one arm at a time behind your back while twisting that elbow forward.

Alternate which arm is forward and which is back.

8) Clap Push-Ups

Clapping push-ups are a good way to get extra upper body training in if you don’t have access to weights or if you want to do something less taxing on your body.

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9) Elbows To Instep Push-Ups

This push-up is a bit more difficult as it requires a great deal of balance. Try to do a normal push-up except bring your elbows towards your feet as you go down and push them away as you go back up.

10) Jump Push-Ups

As the name suggests, you will jump in the air while doing a push-up. This adds an extra element of balance and works your core more than a regular push-up.

11) Pike Push-Ups

This push-up works your core muscles in a different way than the pike push-ups. To perform this exercise, start in the same position as a normal push-up except bend your arms slightly more and bring your body up to create a pike position.

Hold this for a second at the top of the push-up and then return to the bottom. Make sure to only go up halfway and then come down quickly so that you don’t give your self whiplash.

11) Pike Push-Ups

Bring your legs above your head while doing a push-up. This is a great way to work your abs while doing push-ups.

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12) Close Grip Push-Up

Work your triceps and shoulders with this push-up variation. To perform, place your hands closer together when you do a push-up.

You can also try bringing your hands above your head when you do a downward push.

13) Clapping Close Grip Push-Up

Clapping push-ups are a great way to get extra work in for your shoulders and chest. Try adding these to the close grip push-ups to get a whole-body workout in.

14) One-Armed Push-Up

This push-up is exactly what it sounds like. Hold yourself up with one arm at a time while doing a push-up.

Try to do as many as you can with each arm and then switch.

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15) Pike Push-Up

This push-up is similar to the pike push-up however you will bring your legs out wider and further away from your body rather than keeping them close to your body like you did in the other pike push-up. This one puts more emphasis on your shoulders.

16) Walking Push-Up

This push-up works your core just as much as your arms and is a great exercise to strengthen and tone your midsection. While in the top of a push-up position move one arm and opposite leg at the same time.

For example if you are doing a right side push-up bring your right elbow towards your left knee. Push back up and then repeat with the opposite side.

17) Rotating Push-Up

This push-up is another one that works your core as well as your shoulders and arms. To do this push-up start in a top position of a push-up and then rotate your body away from the floor while bringing one arm and the opposite leg up at the same time.

For example if you are doing a right side push-up bring your right arm and left leg up so that your elbow and knee are touching. Then push back up and repeat on the opposite side.

18) One-Armed Rotating Push-Up

This is similar to the one-armed push-up however you will rotate your body as you bring one arm and opposite leg up at the same time. Start in a top position of a normal push-up and then perform the same movement as the rotating push-up.

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