It may be a bit of a stretch to say that there are about as many variations of push ups to choose from as there are stars in the sky.  But, you would not be too far off if you made that claim.  This little article will explain step by step how a beginner with a fair amount of strength would do a basic push up.  Please note that many people will try to instruct you on how your should breathe throughout the exercise.  However, most people should not worry about their breathing and just breathe naturally while performing push ups.  If you currently do not engage in any sort of strength training or exercise in general you should first seek the approval of your doctor before performing this or any other type of strenuous activity.  


Step 1:  Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart.


Step 2:  Bend forward, put your hands on the floor with your palms down and walk out with your hands until your legs and torso are straight and your hands are on the floor directly underneath your  shoulders.  At this point and throughout the exercise the only parts of your body that are in contact with the floor are your hands, the balls of your feet and your toes.  


Step 3:  Slowly bend at the elbows while simultaneously keeping your elbows tucked in close to your torso.  Lower yourself to the point that your chin and your chest are just above the floor. 


Step 4:  Pause ever so briefly in the bottom position, then reverse your motion pushing yourself away from the floor until your elbows are completely straight.  Remember to breathe naturally and focus on proper technique.


Step 5:  Repeat steps 3 and 4 for as many repetitions as you desire.  


Push ups are an excellent exercise to strengthen your chest muscles, triceps and shoulders.  Remember to keep your torso straight throughout the exercise.  If you find your torso sagging towards the ground or you can no longer maintain good technique stop the exercise and rest.  As with any other exercise, you should start slowly and gradually add more repetitions and/or sets.  


If you do not have enough strength to do push ups as described above you could either do push ups with your knees on the floor instead of your feet or simply stand at the bottom of a set of stairs and do push ups leaning forward with your palms on the edge of one of the stairs.  As you gain strength and become more competent doing push ups over time, simply step back further from the bottom of the first step which will incrementally allow you to increase the percentage of your bodyweight you are using in the exercise.  


If you feel as though push ups are becoming too easy and you wish to increase resistance instead of repetitions you could simply put you feet on top of a stair, box or chair.  You could also use a resistance band stretched across your back and around your hands.  

I hope you have found this information helpful.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.