Push-ups, in my opinion, are one of the top offenders for moves executed with poor form. I see everything from hips sagging, raised butts, reaching with the neck, shallow range of motion, movement through the spine while descending, etc, etc. Why? Why do I see such poor form on push-ups? Because they're hard! Push-ups have been around for decades and while they may look simple enough, they're a difficult exercise to perform correctly rep after rep after rep.
Can you spot the mistakes on the top video? I know I exaggerated the move but it's not too far off from what you might find in the gym….or doing yourself.
Somewhere along the line performing push-ups on the knees caught fire as a great way to modify the exercise to make it easier and I'm here to totally disagree. And, for the record, I cringe at referring to push-ups on your knees as "girl push-ups"…so don't say it.
There is no shame in modifying or regressing any exercise, including the push-up but if you're goal is to eventually be able to perform push-ups from your toes I suggest you get off your knees. In my experience, performing push-ups from you knees may help to strengthen your upper body but it doesn't always translate to strength in push-ups from your toes.
So how do you regress a push-up from your toe if you're not on your knees? You use an incline!
Using an incline allows you to get into the exact same position you would in a standard push-up but the incline removes some of the load.
I performed these incline push-ups on a smith machine as it's easy to adjust the bar but a countertop, step, or bench would work well too. Lowering the incline makes the movement more difficult and a higher incline makes the movement easier.
If you need a review of proper push-up technique click here.
Regardless of if you take my advice on trying out the incline push up or not, I hope we can agree on one thing- perform a move incorrectly or with poor form should not be an option. Find a way to modify or regress the movement to keep your body injury free and build from there.
Your turn: Have you ever tried incline push-ups?