"I don't do push-ups; they're too easy. "
"I bet I could do 100 push-ups in a row."
"I just bench press to work my chest."
The next time someone says this to you, ask to see their push-up technique...
The push-up is one of my favorite horizontal pushing exercises. It also happens to be an exercise that is incorrectly performed 90% of the time.
Check out the video below that goes through push-up progressions to make sure you're performing push-ups at the appropriate difficulty level!
The Importance of Exercise Progression (& regression!)
The push-up is a horizontal pushing exercise that stresses the chest, triceps, and anterior deltoids. While most consider the push up to be "easy," it is "easily" one of the most butchered exercises (technique-wise) in the gym.
Here is a video of the appropriate push-up progressions:
I consider being able to complete 15+ perfect repetitions at one level sufficient to progress to the next. The next time you're in the gym, test this out to see where you're at!
(I wouldn't be surprised if most that read this are training at a higher difficulty level than you should be)
A few things to think about when you're performing a push-up:
"Make a double chin" - (don't reach with your head towards the ground)
"Move your body together as one segment" - (a straight line should be drawn from your ears to your ankles!)
"Push the world away from you"
"Squeeze your rear!" - (helps keep your spine in neutral alignment)
More Push-up Variations
"The Biomechanics of the Push-up: Implications for Resistance Training Programs."
The authors, Bret Contreras, Brad Schoenfeld, Jonathan Mike, Gul Tiryaki-Sonmez, John Cronin and Elsbeth Vaino, go into depth explaining the musculature activation during a push-up as well as providing this table on push-up variations.
Give one of these variations a shot, but be sure to follow proper push-up progression!
Make it happen.