|1.) Understand Proper Push-up TechniqueThe Push-up is a fundamental pressing exercise that when performed correctly (even in the form of regressions) effectively strengthens the chest, shoulders, and triceps. But as a commonplace in group class workouts and strength and conditioning program, too often quantity is emphasized over quality.
A push-up is essentially a moving high plank but enough attention isn’t always given to the positioning of the lower back throughout the duration of the rep. Place your thumb on the bottom of your ribcage and your index finger on your hip bone. Reduce the space between your fingers by taking a hard exhale through your mouth to move your rib cage down and bracing your core (squeeze your stomach like someone is going to punch you). Maintain this position throughout your repetitions.
As your chest lowers to the ground, your elbows should follow a line 45° from your body to allow for proper movement of the shoulder blades (more below). Your arms and spine should create an arrow throughout the entirety of the repetitions.
Scapula (Shoulder blade) Movement
During the eccentric phase (lowering portion) your shoulder blades should retract (come together). As you press out of the bottom into the finishing position, your shoulder blades will protract (spread apart). A common mistake is too much Trapezius involvement where the athlete shrugs their shoulders up (elevation) towards their neck.