How to maintain proper form when doing push-ups Push-ups are good for developing the pectoral muscles and the triceps. When you are doing push-ups you want to make sure that you keep your back straight. Your hands should be just a little more than shoulder width apart. To do a proper push-up bend your elbows until your nose and forehead are almost touching the floor. Then straighten your elbows to raise yourself back up. To prepare your muscles it is important that you do some warm up exercises to prevent injury. Make sure that you start slowly and work your way up to larger more strenuous workouts.