You’ve been doing pushups forever but you still have to do them on your knees (boo), elevate your hands, can’t get all the way down or you loose plank position on the way up. What’s the deal?
The pushup is just like any other exercise, to get better you have to practice them, alot!
How do you progress them??
If you are doing them on your knees, you are wasting your time because you aren’t putting enough of your body weight into the arms and typically the arms are at the wrong angle.
If you cannot do a forearm plank or a high plank start there, a pushup is a moving plank.
- Spine Neutral including neck
- Hands slightly wider than shoulder width
- Arms vertical when up
- Hips level with shoulders
- Elbows pointed back about 45 degrees at top angled almost straight back at bottom
- Feet should be hip width apart, wider makes it easier (cheating)
- You must be on the balls of your feet
- Push UP not back!
When doing a pushup your entire body moves as a unit. You bend the elbows and move from your toes not your knees, hips or back.
The pushup is a whole body exercise, you must be tight in the core and glutes, as I mentioned above a pushup is a moving plank so stay tight. Plus the harder you squeeze all your muscles the stronger you are.
Testing the Waters.
If you are struggling with the pushup we need to figure out where you need to start.
Pushups on the wall
Elevate your hands by placing them on something sturdy that won’t slide. If you’re really weak start by placing your hands on the wall, move your feet out from the wall and come up on the balls of your feet. The hands should be chest level, slightly wider than the shoulders. Bend your elbows to bring your face and chest towards the wall and maintain a good plank position. Keep the elbows pointed behind and down not out to the sides. Push back with your arms keeping the plank position.
Pushups from a chair
Use a sturdy chair placed against a wall something else about that height that is strong enough to support you and can’t slide and do a pushup. The setup is the same as above, hands shoulder width apart, chest level. Elbows pointed back and you are on the balls of your feet. As always, maintain a good plank position
If you were successful, go lower still. If not then you’ll need to a bit higher. The goal is to find the place that allows you to do a perfect pushup.
Once you’ve determined how much elevation you need to do a perfect pushup it’s time to work on increasing the number of perfect reps you can do.
So do as many as you can keeping perfect form. If your hands are elevated and you can do more than 10 with perfect form you need to go a little lower.
Every day add 1 more rep. When you can do 15 – 20 perfect pushups yo should be able to go lower. Start all over again by doing as many perfect pushups as you can from the new position and add 1 rep per day.
If you keep this up, you should be able to do them with your hands on the floor within a few months.
If you find that you do less reps than usual take a day off between practice sessions.