Sweat It Out

Exercise is a part of our lives to enhance our strength and take care of our health. Let’s find a healthy and balanced relationship with exercise.

Top Tips To Rock Your Push-ups


One of the most accessible exercises around is the push-up. You can do them in a hotel room, on a bench, or in the middle of a field. The challenge is that push-ups are not easy for everyone. Take a look around at your local gym and you’ll likely see some pretty atrocious form.

Today I am going to take you through my top push-up cues to help you gain confidence and strength with this awesome exercise. Nailing your push-ups is like a major ego boost and helps to greatly improve your core and upper body strength.

Here is one of my favourite push-up variations, the hand release push-up. This move actually helps you learn to do a push-up properly, so I love to start my clients out with this before we even progress to the full meal deal. I first learned this variation from Jen Sinkler of Thrive as the Fittest. Jen coaches exercises that give a great bang for your buck in terms of your time in the gym and has some of the most creative and effective cues around.

When it comes to performing a hand release push-up, most of the cues are similar to those of a normal push-up:

  • Set yourself up with your hands a little wider than your shoulders (if you want the hands go right below the shoulders, that’s fine, but you’ll need to keep your elbows tucked in for a tricep push-up)
  • Brace your core by engaging your glutes (squeeze them, don’t tuck your bum under!) and exhale to pull your rib cage down toward your hip bones.
  • As you lower down to the floor, keep your torso in a straight line, no wiggling, sagging or hunching through your spine. There should be a decent amount of space between your shoulders and your ear lobes.
  • Bring your stomach all the way to the ground and use your mid-back muscles to lift your elbows up, hands coming off the floor slightly.
  • Now here comes the hard part! Exhale to brace your core again, get super strong through all the muscles of your torso and push your body up, no sagging through your back! You want to stay straight like a 2 x 4.
  • To help engage your entire upper body, imagine you are screwing lightbulbs in with your hands as you press up. This greatly helps to reduce upper back hunching.

Want some more cues and a demonstration? Watch the video below:

Now that you’ve got some of my favourite cues for this challenging exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, back extensors, mid-back muscles and deepest core stabilizers, hop to it!

Try the hand release push-up at your next workout, you can always start from your knees if you need to. Not only does this exercise target big muscle groups which contribute to the overall caloric-requirement of this move, it helps improve your traditional push-ups too.


Lana 🙂