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Tips on Basic Push-Ups

Warm Up

Stretch your arms, legs and torso and do some jumping jacks as a warm up. It will get your muscles ready for action before you tackle the push-ups.

Breathe Properly

Breathe in as you go down and breathe out as you go up. Pause between steps.

Proper Form

Lay flat on the floor with your arms shoulder-width apart. Your feet can be together or up to 12 inches apart. Your knees should not bend. Push up until your arms are straight. When you go down, your forearms will be parallel with the floor. Lift your weight with your arms. Don't use your butt, back or stomach to push up. Keep your hips steady. Your body should remain in a straight line.

Stay Off the Floor

Don't let your chest touch the floor when you go down. Keep it 2 to 3 inches above the floor.

Ease Wrist Pain

If your wrists hurt when doing push-ups, personal trainer Jonathan Ross, a spokesman for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), may have some help. He told Webmd.com you should make a fist and push up on your knuckles instead of your wrist. Ross suggests this be done on carpet or an exercise mat to minimize discomfort because the knuckles have less fat than the wrist.

Keep Your Chin Up

Keeping your chin up enables you to get lower to the floor. Keep your head up and look forward rather than down.

Get on Your Knees

If you are struggling to do a push-up, you can modify it to make it easier. Do your push-ups on bended knees rather than being in the full extension. This removes half the load for you to lift and will help you condition your body so you can eventually graduate to the full push-up. Your body must be straight from torso to shoulders like it is with the full extension.

Increase Intensity

If you are advanced in fitness, you can increase the intensity of your push-ups by modifying your body position. Try a one-handed push-up, a hanging push-up or a push-up with your feet elevated on a workout bench.

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