Push-ups done with poor form can cause low back pain and shoulder problems. Use this checklist to make sure you're a push-up pro 💪🏻:

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CHIN BACK ✅: Keep stress off of your neck and shoulders by maintaining a gentle double chin position. 
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ELBOWS AT 45 ✅: Big elbow flare can compromise structures and tissues around your shoulders. Aim your elbows at a 45 degree angle as they point behind you. Another key on elbow position is to avoid dropping so low in your push up that your elbows rocket far beyond the level of your back. This creates stress on the front of your shoulders 🚀.
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SHORT CORE ✅: Keep the line between your rib cage and your belly button short. This will help you to keep an active core and take stress off of your low back. Imagine you're about to be punched in the abs 🥊.
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TIGHT GLUTES ✅: Failure to engage your glutes during push-ups leaves your pelvis and low back susceptible to stress. A strong squeeze of the glutes will go a long way toward a better push-up 🍑.

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FLAT BACK ✅: Avoid significant sagging or extension through your low back. This is a recipe for a sore back. A tight glute squeeze and a short core will help ensure a flat back 📐.


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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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