CPR in Adults: Positioning Your Hands for Chest Compressions

Positioning the hands for chest compressions.
Arm and body positions for doing chest compressions.

Find the compression landmark.

  • Kneel next to the person.
  • Use your fingers to locate the end of the person's breastbone, where the ribs come together.
  • Place two fingers at the tip of the breastbone.
  • Place the heel of the other hand right above your fingers (on the side closest to the person's face).
  • Stack your other hand on top of the one that you just put in position. Lace the fingers of both hands together, and raise your fingers so they do not touch the chest.
  • Straighten your arms, lock your elbows, and center your shoulders directly over your hands.
  • Use both hands to give chest compressions.

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine