T Nation

Push-Up Form Question

hey, i was wondering about pushup variations.  when you do a normal pushup is it better to keep the elbows tucked in like a powerlifter bench presses, or to flair them out like a bodybuilder bench presses?  also, does the latter employ more of your anterior deltoids to compensate?  i've been doing the 100 pushup guide to go beyond the max for my pt test for the military.  I just don't want to cause injury from elbow/shoulder joints because of improper form.  thanks in advance for any knowledge you impart.

Read this on another site …

“The pushup comes in lots of flavors … regular, daimond, wide, DB’s, handstands, etc. Although all pushups work the chest, triceps, and shoulder girdle, each variation tends to focus on a particular muscle group (i.e., diamond pushups concentrate on the triceps, DB’s work the shoulders more). If you find that your triceps tire more quickly than the other muscle groups, alter your form a little (unless you are trying to isolate the triceps). Move you elbows out from your ribs a little more. Make sure your hands are just slightly wider than your shoulders, this will help spread the load equally between the muscle groups.”

It seems logical that if bench pressing with a “bobybuilder” elbows flared style is bad, then pushups probably are too.

I have perrenial shoulder problems, but as soon as I started benching and doing pushups with my elbows tucked, it ceased. Check out Cressey’s Shoulder Savers articles for the background.

hey man read my post in this thread about pushups. I can email you this program if you would like.