Step 1 of perfect pushups posture is to make the body as straight as a pencil. That mean your head is in line with your back, your back is in line with your butt, and your butt is in line with your legs.
Another cue is to visualize your body as a cylinder of steel.
Step 2 is to ‘tuck your butt in’ and ‘brace your abs’. But what does this actually mean?
A picture says a thousand words, and once you know what to look for, you’ll immediately become an expert in pushup “posture”.
The Posture Test
Take any photo of a pushup (side-view) and flip it on its side so that it now looks like a standing position (nose in front of a wall).
Then ask – “On a scale of 1-10, if they were walking down the street with this posture, how normal would they look?”
The higher the number, the better the pushup.
Standing posture and pushup posture should be identical, the only difference is that one is vertical and one is horizontal.
If you don’t tuck your butt and brace your abs, your posture test will resemble a waddling duck, i.e. your butt will be sticking out and your lower back will be caved in. Rather like this look:
Your lower back will do what the butt and abs tell it to. Once you tuck the butt and brace your abs, your lower back will flatten out nicely, like this:
Keep the head in a nice neutral position. When you are in the pushup position, look straight down at the floor. There is no reason to look forwards during a pushup, and you will fail the posture test. Like this:
Lots of things going wrong on this one:
One last example of good pushup posture:
Next Section: Case Study: good pushup technique, or not? →