Beginner Pushups: How To Do Plus 3 Easy Tips

How To Do Pushups For Beginners

How To Do Pushups For Beginners: It all starts with beginner pushups. Wouldn’t you agree.

Think about it, aside from running weren’t pushups the first exercise we were coached to do in grade school. I’m not sure PE teachers, at least mine, really intended to teach us fundamental strength exercises, but in essence that’s what they were doing. It was kind of a…”Here kids, this is how to do beginner pushups!”

Meanwhile, we would all stand there scratching our heads and then attempt to do them properly, yet unsuccessfully each and every time. Now to be absolutely clear, many adults still can’t do a single pushup with proper form and technique.

If this story rings true, you’re not alone. So keep reading as this “How To Do Pushups For Beginners” guide will certainly help.

How To Do Pushups For Beginners | Body360 Fit
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Beginner Pushups: Proper Pushup Form & Technique [All Types]

Below you’ll find a simple and easy 7-step guide to help improve your pushups and push up variations. It’s important to note that the 7-steps listed below are not just limited to beginner pushups, but are in fact “best practices” for all types of pushups and pushup variations. Follow along closely and you’ll be on your way to performing perfect pushups immediately.

Time needed: 1 minute.

How To Do Beginner Pushups [Step-By-Step Checklist]

  1. Hands Shoulder Width Apart

    Position your hands shoulder width apart with the fingers spread to form a strong foundation.

  2. Neutral Head and Neck

    The neck should not be flexed with the chin tucked or neck hyperextended (all the way back or up.) Instead, the head and neck should be in a neutral position with the eyes focused down and slightly out to the front.

  3. Neutral Spine (Neck to Toes)

    Form a strict plank position with a neutral spine from head to toe. Your hips should be in line with your shoulders. Avoid sagging a lower back.

  4. Shoulders Back and Down

    Your shoulders should be back and down with the shoulder blades tight and retracted.

  5. Braced Core

    You core should be tight and braced with a high focus on diaphragmatic breathing.

  6. Glutes Clinched Tight

    Your glutes should activated and clinched tightly together. While pushups are primarily an upper body movement, creating total body tightness will help improve your pushups.

  7. Elbows at 45°

    The elbows should track at 45° angles.

3 Simple and Easy Pushup Tips [Stop Making These Mistakes]

If you’ve been struggling with correct beginner pushup form, these three common mistakes could be the reason why. So review, take notes and remedy each mistake with the actionable steps I’ve listed below.

Do NOT Let Your Elbows Flare Out

This is a very common mistake, but awareness is the first step. Avoid allowing your elbows to flare out, which causes internal rotation of the shoulder. Keep your elbows slightly tucked in with your shoulder blades squeezed together and down. Do NOT shrug your shoulders. Most importantly, elbows should track at 45° angles (mentioned above.)

Avoid Swayback Posture

Do NOT practice pushups with a sagging midsection. Avoid swayback posture by keeping a neutral spine with your hips in line with your shoulders.

Hands Should NOT Be In Front Of Your Shoulders

Be sure to set a strong foundation before beginning any pushups exercise or variation. Hands should NOT be in front of your shoulders with the elbows forming a “T”, but instead your hands should be under your shoulders with the elbows forming an “A.”

To help with clarity, I’ve put together a short and simple powerpoint presentation to highlight the most common beginner push up mistakes which includes a pro tip and action item to help remedy these push up shortfalls. Click below to view it.

Beginner Pushup Variations and Progressions

So you’ve read the guide and you’re not sure where to start? Begin by following these simple push up variations to progress this exercise. As a result, you’ll be doing full sets of standard pushups with rock solid form each and every time.

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Here’s the progression:

  1. Elevated Pushups
  2. Knee Pushups
  3. Standard Pushups

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Elevated Pushups

If you’re just starting out, Elevated Pushups or variations of them are a great first step towards the ultimate goal of performing full sets of standard pushups.

Elevated Pushups would include any of the following:

  • Wall Pushups (Against a wall)
  • Bench Pushups (Pictured above)
  • Bar Pushup with a Smith Machine

Knee Pushups

Now that you’ve mastered Elevated Pushups progress to Knee Push ups. Knee Push ups are performed from the knees (as the name suggests) following the exact same protocol from the Proper Pushup Form and Technique (Standard Pushup) section list above.

Standard Pushups

The standard push up truly is the holy grail and absolute perfection is something to strive for. The standard pushup is performed from the toes and a true testament of absolute upper body and core strength strength. If you’ve had success with the aforementioned variations, now is the time try your hand with the standard version.

Additional Learning

Complete Guide To Proper Pushup Form [16 Videos + Infographic]

CLICK HERE To Read My Beginner Pushups Story and Gain Access to the Full Guide.

How To Do A Superman Plank [Benefits & Muscles Work]

CLICK HERE To Start Building a Stronger Core.

The Bottom Line

I can’t say that being a beginner is ever fun, pushups included, but we all have to start somewhere.

Let me be perfectly frank. Beginner push ups, elevated pushups, knee pushups, standard pushups or any variation of the pushup is a true measure of fundamental strength. In fact, they’re all beneficial to your health and you should give yourself a round of applause for doing ten or even one for that matter.

In closing, I’ll offer my best pushup advice: If you’re struggling, practice, practice, practice and practice again. If you’re lost, reference the guide and consequently, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the pushup pro you’re striving to be.

Until next time,


Fitness Guy @body360fit

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PPS. If you have have any questions, please leave them in the comments below or send me a message.

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