So I recently recorded myself and found out that I can do like 4 complete pushups(going full down), they sure are hard.

But I found that I slowly wear out and my back starts bending a bit when I come up.

And also my elbows go outwards(whereas they should be bending inwards, like at a small angle with the body) and I cant correct this elbow problem.

Can anyone please give me a solution for these 2 problems?

Also I havent exercised in 2 weeks(before today) due to some medical things if that info helps. Thanks for the answer!

  • Elbows outwards is actually the correct technique if you're trying to work the chest/pectoral muscles. Inwards isolates the triceps on the arms, instead. Back wearing out may actually be core/abs wearing out. Do a lot of plank to build that up. Very directly relevant to holding body position for pushups. Jul 25 '17 at 21:54
  • but what about arms inwards? I wanna do that too. Anything that can help me with that? Jul 26 '17 at 1:06

Two separate aspects here, with separate causes and fixes:

Your back bending

  • Weak glutes or tight hip flexors: Your glutes cannot pull your pelvis straight. Fix: Do glute bridges. Stretch hip flexors.
  • Weak abs or your lower back is tight: Your abs cannot straighten your torso. Fix: Do crunches. Touch your toes.
  • Edit: As per the comment above, planks will help with both of the above points at the same time.

Elbows bending outward ("elbows flaring")

  • Weak triceps. When you don't flare your elbows, you engage your triceps more. Fix: Do push ups correctly on your knees. Or do tricep extensions. I recommend the former.
  • 1
    Another viable alternative is to start with your hands higher to make the pushup easier and to reduce lateral back strain. Jul 26 '17 at 19:24
  • Agreed, either do push ups off of a table/bench (hands, not feet on bench) or do push ups off your knees (google "knee push up"). Knee push ups can promote poor body position though, so he has to watch that.
    – VSO
    Jul 26 '17 at 20:30
  • alright thanks! I will add planks to my routine and will work my triceps! Jul 27 '17 at 2:42
  • Ah, the crunch. As far as I know, scientists still don't know whether to hate it or love it. One thing I do know is that they don't train the main function of the abs which is isometrically protecting the spine. I'd say planks are almost always a better alternative. Jul 27 '17 at 6:44
  • @Dennis Haarbrink I think crunches serve a purpose, when done correctly, i.e. lower spine flat on floor and raise the shoulders. I recomment both. It's actually fairly difficult to train abs effectively without risking the spine or over-training the hip flexors. That's a different story though.
    – VSO
    Jul 27 '17 at 13:11

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