In this video, we are going to talk about push-ups and how to modify, to make it the “perfect” push-up.

When we talk about the “perfect” push up, it is just changing from the standard ‘elbows out to the side’ and bring them inwards in a push-up. The big reason we want to do this, is to start taking care of our shoulders a little more and that we can hold our body weight more efficiently. Progressing to full push-ups will be the end result.


Starting off, let us just understand this “perfect” positioning. The four main points we want to assist in modifying are;

  • Feet
  • Hips
  • Hand placement
  • Head placement.


Beginning with our heels, have them push backwards. By doing this we are locking up our calves. We also begin to feel our quads tensing a little, this way our legs are nice and strong. A strong position gives a solid foundation to hinge from.


With our hips, ensure they are not too high, and they are not too low. To do this, make sure you roll them in to brace and support our midsection, including our lower back. The aim here is to look like a ‘moving plank’, where the down phase of the push-up looks like the up phase, just in reverse.

Hands (+elbows)

Changing the hand placement, we need to bring them backwards. The aim is to have them down towards our chest & lower rib cage. By having them in a lower position, we can begin to develop our strength.

All we want to do is commence the push-ups with the lowering phase. By starting here, we can hold our body weight on the way down but not necessarily on the way up. The other key with the hand placement is the elbows turning inwards (thinks screw the hands into ground). It will recruit muscles in our back as you lower to the ground. You will notice the elbow in both movements (up & down) will be vertical. Most of the energy will pass through the hands and elbows. Tip spread fingers out to ground in the upper body


Bring your head back in line with your shoulders. Having you head protrude forward creates more strain on our neck & upper body. Having it back (think double-chin position), will direct the energy back to the movement of being like a ‘moving plank’.


Developing a stronger upward phase

If we want to develop our strength, coming upwards, practice on our toes rather than knee. Reason being, we will not develop the same sort of strength as our position is different on the knees. It becomes a larger strain on our upper body to keep elbows in the same vertical position. As you can see, the elbows are kicking back quite a bit in the video. If we are leaning forward, they are almost vertical.

To increase our strength on the upward phase try using differing heights. Using a step as seen, the hands, hips, feet & head are all in the same position. The only difference is the demand of our body weight is less. This is because gravity is not as strong when we are higher as compared to closer to the ground. You can also do it on other heights like a wall. Just make sure our all parts are in the same position ie hands back, feet back, hips up etc.


Take away, the 4 main points;

  1. Your feet are pushed back more.
  2. Your hips are not high or low they are locking in so that feels nice tense.
  3. Our hands are back further, with nice wide fingers and really screwing and pushing our hands to the ground.
  4. Lastly our head is pushing back to be in line with the rest of our body.


Cool, give this a go guys.

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