Rules For Push-Ups
Rules For Push-Ups
Push ups are a fantastic exercise! It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting out on your fitness journey or you are looking for a new challenge, it’s good to know how to do a push up!
I’ve taught you how to do chin ups, so now I’m going to explain how you can work up to a full push up. PLUS, I’ll give you a few tips on ways you can make push ups harder!
Push ups for beginners
Push ups can be tough, especially if you’ve never done them before! Getting the technique right is so important, so don’t be afraid to start with modified push ups, such as resting on your knees. That way, you can work on your technique AND gradually build up your strength.
When you feel as though push ups on your knees are getting too easy, but can’t quite do them on your toes, try adding an incline by resting your hands on a bench or chair.
To do an incline push up:
- Place a bench horizontally in front of you.
- Place both hands on the bench slightly further than shoulder-width apart and feet together on the floor behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.
- While maintaining a straight back and stabilising through your abdominals, bend your elbows and lower your torso towards the bench until your arms form two 90-degree angles.
- Push through your chest and extend your arms to lift your body back into the starting position.
When you’re feeling stronger, you can try reducing the height of the incline. For example, swapping the bench for a step. When you start noticing that incline push ups aren’t as difficult as they used to be, it might be time to move to a full push up!
How to do a push up correctly
Just like any exercise, you need to make sure it is being done the right way, otherwise you may increase the risk of an injury.
This is how to do a push up:
- Place both hands on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart and both feet together behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.
- While maintaining a straight back and stabilising through your abdominals, bend your elbows and lower your torso towards the floor until your arms form two 90-degree angles.
- Push through your chest and extend your arms to lift your body back into starting position.
While push ups are an upper body exercise, they also a great way to challenge your core! When doing this exercise, it’s important that your body forms one straight line from your head through to your heels. What I mean is that you should try to avoid ‘sagging’ through your lower back or sticking your butt up in the air while doing them. When doing any variation of a push up, whether on your knees or toes, it’s important that you keep your core activated. A helpful way to do this is to imagine that you are drawing your belly button in towards your spine. Ensure that your chin also remains tucked into your chest so that your neck is long and an extension of your spine.
Because push ups are a bodyweight exercise, you can do them anywhere! That makes them perfect for squeezing in a workout on holidays, if you’re travelling for work or you love a budget-friendly workout routine!
Making push ups harder
In the same way you can modify to make push ups easier, you can also make them harder! When you’re ready to test yourself, you can try modifying push ups to make them more demanding. If you’re no longer seeing results from workouts, it might be time to increase the challenge, known as progressive overload.
Here are a couple of ways you can increase the intensity of your push ups:
- Lift one leg: This modification can be used for push ups on your knees, as well as a standard push up! By lifting one leg off the ground and extending it behind you, the move becomes even more taxing on your body. It tests your balance and forces you to really engage your core!
- Change your hand position: Where you place your hands changes which muscle groups you are targeting. When your hands are in a wider stance, this helps work your chest, triceps as well as the front of your shoulders, whereas moving your hands in closer together (so that your elbows ‘shave’ your sides) can really help isolate your triceps.
- Add a variation: Try adding a burpee to your push ups to really step it up and work every muscle!
As with any exercise, I want you to focus on quality first! There is no shame in starting with push ups on your knees if it means you learn the correct technique. Once you can do standard push ups, THEN you can think about making them harder. Don’t be in too much of a rush!
Love, Kayla xx
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.