I have found that people either find the push up too challenging and give up on it all together or they think that they are too good for an exercise as "easy" as the push up.
Don't be so quick to dismiss this staple exercise.
Doing a proper push up is amazing for the shoulder stabilizers. Granted it works SO MANY other muscles but with this particular version I want to emphasize the stabilization required through the shoulders.
There are so many variations, progressions and regressions on the push up that you cannot go wrong by adding it into your routine.
To start place your hands directly beneath your shoulders, possibly a littler wider so you can initiate the movement with your back. Make sure you spread widely through all the fingers. Press firmly into the surface beneath you. Create the sensation that the floor is pushing against you and you are pushing yourself right through the floor.
This total body tension is necessary through all body weight exercises and continues to be vital as load is added.
Brace through the core making sure the butt is tight and neither too high or too low.
As with all exercise, breathing is MOST important. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
As you begin your decent towards the ground retract and engage the shoulder blades while keeping the core braced and stable.
For those of on your way to conquering the push up do them at an incline on a bench or wall but follow the same instructions.
For those of you who have a good push up, slow it down. Count down 4,3,2,1 hold at the bottom for a 3 count and explode upwards.
In the photos from the lovely Jess, you see I have added blocks, this helps me to really engage through my back as I descend toward the floor and lets me get closer to the floor at the bottom of the exercise.