Here's Why It's So Bad To Let Your Hips Sag During Pushups

One of the best exercises you can do is the pushup — it engages your shoulders, legs, and everything in between. For this reason, the Harvard Medical School calls the pushup the "perfect exercise." They can be quite difficult to perform if you've never done them, or if it's been a long time since you've tried. However, getting good at pushups can ramp up your strength training, as they give you a solid foundation to work from, according to Self.

Just like any bodyweight exercise, it is critical that you practice good form. Improper form while performing pushups won't improve your strength, and even worse, it can lead to injuries that can set you back. With a typical pushup, your body should be in a plank position with your hands beneath your shoulders and fingers facing forward. When you bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor, your body should be in a straight line. Throughout the entire movement, your core should be engaged and feel tight (via Self).

Keeping your hips and core engaged

One of the mistakes people make when doing a pushup is letting their hips sag. This is the result of not keeping your back flat, and it causes your lower back to arch. This usually happens when your back simply isn't strong enough to perform a standard pushup, or you are not aware of how your core should feel when you do a pushup. Either way, doing pushups with sagging hips can put an unnecessary burden on your back, shoulders, and spine, per Livestrong.

To avoid sagging hips, actively engage your core by tucking your pelvis underneath you (via Livestrong). If you have trouble keeping your back straight, try modifying with an elevated pushup, sometimes called an incline pushup. With these pushups, you place your hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step. This adjustment still works your chest muscles while protecting your back, per Healthline. An elevated pushup is better than dropping to your knees because it gives your core the same workout as a regular pushup does (per Self).