The Push Up Mistake You’re Probably Making

Think you're a push-up pro? Think again.

The Push Up Mistake You’re Probably Making

Buying your first car. Kissing someone for the first time. Cooking your first steak. These are just some of the classic milestones in every man’s life.

But even as society loosens its thinking on what a man must be, there is still a certain pride one takes in mastering something his grandfather also struggled to accomplish – should you choose to do so.

On that note: we have some bad news. You’ve been doing push-ups wrong your whole life. And if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been doing them, like, really wrong. Not to worry though: help is here, and it comes in the form of fitness coach Peter O’Reilly.

Peter recently took to Instagram to correct the mistake you didn’t know you were making, explaining “xorrect breathing when working out requires you to exhale during the highest exertion. When doing push-ups, you inhale as you lower your body and exhale as you push back up.”


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“Proper push-up technique requires you to maintain good posture and a straight body. Tighten your core muscles, quads and glutes to stabilize your body and maintain the correct position,” Peter says. Next, “place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width [and] lower your body by bending your elbows.”

“At the bottom of the push-up, your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Then, return to the starting position.”

As for the mistake you are probably making? “Do not hold your breath when doing push-ups, especially when you are at the end of a set and your muscles are tiring,” Peter says. “Correct breathing during push-ups helps prevent fatigue by making sure your muscles have plenty of oxygen.”


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He then cites the American Lung Association, saying that “when doing a push-up, breathe in as you lower your body and exhale during the most difficult part of the exercise when you push your body back to the starting position.”