Fitness

How to Push It (UPDATED)

Tina posted this handy (scary) info in the comment section and I thought it was worth updating the post in case you didn’t read the comment:

“I was doing push ups when I broke my right hand scaphoid. Two years, surgery and a lot of physical therapy later, I still can only move my hand about 15 degrees in any direction. So moral of the story … according to the surgeon who did my surgery, it is a common way to break the scaphoid bone. However, it can be avoided by using the push-up bars or hand held weights. He just strongly recommends that people DON’T use their hands flat on the floor while doing push ups.”


Tina – thank you so much! I will be doing the rest of my push-ups on two dumbbells.

This video does a good job of showing basic form and showing a couple of things to avoid (e.g. sagging your butt/hips or sticking them up in the air).

A few notes:

  • If your elbows go straight back (like in the video), you’ll work your triceps more. Mine go out a little to the side, like this (see I-plan-to-hunt-you-down-and-kill-you woman below).

  • Hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • There is debate about how your feet should be placed; some say they should be about the same width as your shoulders, others say they should be close together. It feels like cheating to me to have them wide, so for my challenge, my feet are just slightly separated.
  • Try to keep your chin away from your chest – I struggle with this; it is harder! But make sure you aren’t trying to look up to the ceiling either. You want one straight line from feet to head.
  • If you’re doing the challenge from your knees, make sure you are at a diagonal angle so you maintain a straight line. You aren’t on all fours like a dog with your butt in the air as you go down (like many of the ladies in my gym classes try to do).
  • Keep your core engaged; your abs should be tight.
  • Don’t lock your elbows out at the top; they should be just slightly bent.
  • Don’t go too fast: use muscle not momentum to do the movement.
Good luck!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Tina
    at

    I'm love the results of push ups, but they scare me. I was doing push ups when I broke my right hand scaphoid. Two years, surgery and a lot of physical therapy later, I still can only move my hand about 15 degrees in any direction. Sucks.
    So moral of the story … according to the surgeon who did my surgery, it is a common way to break the scaphoid bone. However, it can be avoided by using the push-up bars or hand held weights. He just strongly recommends that people DON'T use their hands flat on the floor while doing push ups.

  • Reply
    Ashly
    at

    thank you for the info. I'll be sure to make good use of it!

  • Reply
    B
    at

    That is actually really helpful. I should finish week 2 today. I am a little behind. I think I will continue with my hands flat since I am still doing knee pushups. I know, give me til the end of the year. I am loving the challenge though.

  • Reply
    TeriLyn
    at

    Brooke I'm so happy you are enjoying the challenge and sticking with it, especially since I know how tough it is for you!! Way to go! Keep me posted.

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