Push Ups Part 1 - How To Do A Push Up

Push-ups, or press-ups as they're also known, are one of the first exercises I wanted to learn when I began The Wag Doll Protocol fitness regime 7 months ago.

For years I did 'girlie' kneeling push-ups on my knees, under the impression that the average woman isn't strong enough to do regular full push-ups. Wrong!

Your body will adapt if you challenge it, your strength will improve if you practice and you will progress. The perfect push-up is within reach with consistant and determined effort!

Check out my video to see how I do regular push-ups, and for some hints and tips.

So to recap from the video, my top tips for learning to do your first push-up are:
  • Plank - practice holding the plank position with arms fully extended under your shoulders, body in a straight line, core nice and tight. This will increase your shoulder and ab strength. Plank is also the correct starting position for the full push-up, so if you perfect this move you are well on the way to having perfect technique when you move onto push-ups
  • Negative Kneeling Push-ups - Practice doing push-ups on your knees, focusing on the negative aspect of the move, which means lowering your chest to the floor very slowly, then push back up at normal speed. This will build up your chest strength, needed to do full push-ups.

  • Go for it! - When you attempt to do your first push-up then put every ounce of effort you possess into the move! You really have to give it your all. Get into plank position, lower yourself down, don't pause and push, push, push with all your might! If you can't do the move, then simply go back to practising the plank and kneeling negatives, if you can...then congratulations, you've done your first push up!

  • Practice - When you can do 1 push-up, it's simply a matter of building the numbers up, and to do that you just have to practice. Not once a week at the gym, but every day. The beauty of press-ups is that they can be done anywhere, so do them at home while waiting for the kettle to boil, during the adverts on TV or challenge yourself to do them everytime you walk into a certain room!

  • Check your form - As you build up the numbers of push-ups, be sure to keep in mind correct technique at all times. Push-ups done incorrectly can injure your shoulders, elbows and lower back. Don't get carried away with numbers while letting your form slide.

  • For regular push ups your hands should be under your shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hands at 45 degree angle. As you lower yourself down keep your elbows at a 45 degree angle to your body. Aim to get your chest a few inches from the floor, keep your head in line with your spine and do not extend your head forward like a pigeon!

woman in push-up position

Being able to do 3 sets of 15 push-ups is a great indication of upper body strength, and at that point you can start to incorporate some advanced variations to keep challenging yourself. I'll be showing some of the variations I do in my follow post "Push-ups part 2 - Advanced Variations" so be sure to join me!


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