Remember; please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Push-ups are one of those great exercises that are rarely done correctly, but when they are; give you big bang for your buck in terms of upper body strength. Not everyone should, or is able to start by doing push-ups from the ground and on the toes. If core or back strength is inadequate, often times the low back starts to resemble a hammock or elbows flare out to the sides.
To find the best push-up variation for you, pick one that allows you to keep your body in a straight line from toes (or knees if doing a modified push-up) to ears throughout the full range of motion. That means no sagging low backs, high in the air hips, or drooping heads at any point in the movement. For more great tips on technique, check out this informative article. Which one is best for you? Well, here are four great variations, with one to fit almost everyone.
1. Push-up on an Incline (Best option for beginners when using a high incline)
• The higher the incline, the easier the push-up
• Keep abdominals braced and glutes contracted (with all variations)
• Move bar further down to increase difficulty
2. Modified Push-up
• Knees stay on the ground
• Feet can stay on the ground or be up and crossed
• Involves a little less of the core than the other variations
3. Standard Push-up
• Elbows should stay at a 45 degree angle
• Feet set widely apart is easiest
• Bring feet closer together to make the movement harder
4. 3 Point Push-up (Hardest)
• Place one foot on top of the other or hold one leg extended in the air
• Alternate evenly which foot is off the ground
• Place feet on an elevated surface to make exercise even harder