How to Do a Push-Up

Adrianna Williams

Push-ups are a fantastic total-body strengthening exercise for runners.  They're great for improving overall strength as well as engaging your core and upper body. Here’s how to do a basic push-up:

1. Get into a plank position with your hands positioned planted slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

2. Position your feet however you feel most comfortable – either close together or a bit wider apart.

Prop yourself up on your toes, so you’re balancing on your hands and toes.

3. Slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor.

4. Don’t let your butt sag or stick up at any point. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe.

5. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle.

6. While maintaining a tight core, exhale as you push back to the start position. Continue pushing the ground away from you until your arms are almost in a straight position again (but don’t lock your elbows).

7. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps or as many as you can while maintaining good form.

Modified push-up: If you’re not ready for a standard push-up, you can start on bent knees. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under the shoulders. With your knees on the floor, lower to the ground the same way as a standard push-up, but you can use your knees, rather than your feet, to help stabilize your body.

Ready for something more challenging? Try this exercise ball push-up.

More Exercises for Runners:

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