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  • Thomas Stockton

How to get your first push-up

The push-up is a great compound exercise you can perform anywhere. When performed correctly you are going to target all of the main pushing muscles including your chest, triceps, shoulders and with proper technique your core.


Improper technique and lack of opposing muscle work are often overlooked when people perform the push-up which can lead to injuries. For example, the push up will be performed with elbows flared outwards and partial reps instead of full range of motion (chest to floor). It is also important to balance out push-ups in your routine with a pulling movement such as a bodyweight row so you are working the opposing muscles.


Progressions:

Vertical Push-Up

Find a wall and take a couple of steps back. Place hands around shoulder width apart and turn your hands inward slightly. Keep your glutes and core engaged. Lean towards the wall until your nose almost touches and push back into the starting position keeping your body straight throughout the movement.


Incline Push-Up

Find a stable surface such as a window sill or stairs. The higher the surface, the easier the movement is going to be. Therefore you want to find a level that is challenging enough, but not too hard that your form is compromised. Slowly lower yourself until your chest touches the surface you are currently working on. Push back up keeping your body straight throughout. To progress to a full push-up we want to lower the incline we work on overtime as this will increase the difficulty.


Full Push-Up

A lot of the same form cues apply that have been practised in the previous progressions. Hands should be placed around shoulder width apart and turned out slightly to keep your elbows close to your body. Keep your shoulders above your hands and lower down until your chest reaches and the floor and push back up.


There are a number of paths you can take to keep progressing the push-up and this is going to depend on your goals. You could start working on weighted push-ups, ring push-ups, one arm push-ups or begin leaning forward and work on pseudo planche push-ups.


If you need help with achieving the push-up or any of the progressions send me a message and I will be happy to help.


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