Must… fight… urge to punch myself in the face! Seriously, it drives me crazy to see people in the gym doing absolutely terrible pushup form. And most of these people really think that they're "doing it right", they just don't know what the important points are. Or they've got the important points wrong.
Here: Let me make it all better with this simple and clear info graphic:
A Few Pushup Variations:
For example: For some advanced pushup variations your elbows may be in different places in relationship your hands, but the line of force is still the same.
And obviously for easier versions like knee pushups, the rules also remain the same.
For strength variations of pushups (like one arm pushups) your whole body will be really tight. For high repetition versions of pushups, your whole body should be relatively relaxed.
Pushup Corrective Exercises:
If you want to massively over-simplify (I do):
1.) Upper traps pull your shoulder blades up.
2.) Middle traps pull shoulder blades together
3.) Lower traps pull shoulder blades down
4.) Serratus Anterior pulls shoulder blades forward against the back of the ribcage
So the game we are playing on pushups here is Serratus Anterior + Lower Traps: Down and Forward.
Opposite Ideas From Rowing Exercises
In a row, your low back is neutral or slightly arched back. You pull your shoulder blades back and down.
In a pushups, your low back is neutral or slightly rounded forward (mini-crunch). Your push your shoulder blades forward and down.
Just something to think about =)
Josh Hillis, RKC, CPT, PES, ZMIS