The push up (when done properly) is the perfect anterior upper body and core stabilizing exercise. It can be done almost anywhere with open floor space, requires no equipment, works multiple muscle groups at one time, and is a movement everyone should include in their workout routine (with the exception of those with an injury that is aggravated by the movement).
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to “cheat” when performing multi-joint (or compound) exercises. Just like a blueprint, the way that each person naturally does a push up is different because, without consciously thinking about it, our bodies try to make every movement as efficient as possible (i.e. use as little energy as possible to get the job done). To get the most out of a push up you need to focus on all aspects of the movement to keep muscles contracted for the best overall result.
This presentation outlines five key steps to performing the perfect push up each and every time.