Push-ups have got to be one of my FAVOURITE body weigh exercises. You can do them anywhere and they are easy to scale for those just starting out or for the more advanced wanting a new challenge!
PUSH-UPS - If you are just starting out.
Just because you have never done a push-up before, doesn't mean you can't learn now! When it comes to push-ups, the technique is crucial. If you are just starting out, I recommend modifying your starting position to build up your strength so you don't injure yourself in that process!
The modification recommended when starting out is to start your push-ups from your knees. No, we are not calling them "lady push-ups" because that is rude. Plus, I don't know about you but I find even this bent knee version of a push-up is still extremely hard! Once you do become stronger with this style of push-up, instead of jumping straight up onto your toes, try adding an incline. Place your hands on a box, bench, step or chair. Another important component of being successful with your push-ups is to ensure you have consumed some complex carbohydrates within the last 1-2 hours. This will give you the fuel needed to complete these tough movements! My new favourite pre-workout bread recipe can be found here.
Incline bench/box push-up instructions:
- Place the bench or box in front of you.
- Place both hands on the bench about shoulder-width apart. Your wrists should be stacked under your shoulders.
- Rest on the balls of your feet to start.
- To start the motion, bend your elbows and lower your torso. Maintain a straight back and strong core. Bend until your arms are at 90 degrees.
- PUSH UP through your chest maintaining the strong core and rise back to the starting position.
TIP: Higher incline, easier push-ups. Lower incline/no incline, harder.
Try to avoid the "worm" when you are coming back up. Keep your core strong and try and keep your body in a straight line.
PUSH-UPS - If you want a challenge.
You didn't really think you were getting off the hook that easy did you? Once you have NAILED getting stronger with the modified push ups, it is now time to make them HARDER. I believe it is important to always become better at what we do. So, crushing out a ton of modified push-ups is not a "weakness" but we should always be pushing ourselves to go harder, be better and get stronger. Seeing results is important so it may be time to increase the workouts which the industry often refers to as progressive overload.
Want better results? Keep reading. If not, no offense taken! You do you.
Modifications to make push-ups more challenging:
- Lift one leg (when performing push-ups from your knees or from your toes)
- Experiment with changing your hand location. Wider = chest, triceps and anterior delt (front of shoulder) Closer = huge tricep isolating movement.
- Clap or burpee. You know what to do.
What excuse are you going to give yourself as to why you CAN'T do some push-ups? 10 push-ups before bed is better than 0. Start. Just do something to better yourself. Don't rush your process. Get stronger and then add in your challenging movements to push yourself!
If you are interested in making a change and want to join me and the strong ladies October 14th, click here to learn more.