The mighty push up

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Why don’t we do push ups? Are they too difficult or do we just not give it the respect it really deserve? We look at workouts in the latest edition of our local fitness magazines and beginner trainers all over the country will rip the pages from the magazine, take it with them to gym and try and do the workout. They don’t always get it right and that is were injuries come from. It is not their fault at all. They get hurt, sore and it is all because they look at awesome pics (see the one above as an example) and think that they can do a perfect push up (for example) If they do not get it right, they stop and never return to this amazing exercise (or any other exercise)

The whole process with push ups is progression – and this we can pull through to all exercises out there. We don’t start easy enough to get the basics cemented and then move on to the more difficult stuff. We must crawl before we can walk, run and sprint and that is what exercise and training is all about. Jump into the ocean without being able to swim and you are in trouble, you won’t do that so why would you start doing difficult versions of the push up from the word go? Be reasonable to yourself and you will see results. 

The first thing I love about push ups is that you do not need anything but yourself to do this top notch exercise. Ok, so let us get into set up and what is important to do your push up right without injuries. Your abs are king when it comes to doing a proper push up. If you do not keep the abs tight in the starting position and throughout the whole movement, your lower back will sag and lead to injury. Hand position is very important. Depending on your goals and what you want to work, your hands will be in different positions. 

Start with the following push up progressions:

  1. Hands elevated push up – If you cannot do a push up at all, then hands on a bench or a box will help you build up the strength you need to do a floor push up. You can progress by lowering the box or bar during your weekly training until you are strong enough to ditch it all together.
  2. Floor push up – this is a normal on the toes and hands push ups on the floor. Aim for about 3 sets of 10 push ups, done properly, before moving on to the next progression.
  3. Now you can start playing – the world is your oyster here, drop your hands in different positions, stagger them, put one on a medicine ball, lift one foot up. Do T-push ups or elevate your feet. All these variations will put the spotlight on different muscle groups and different stabilizers.
If your run out of ideas, the internet is full of push up variations and some really evil ideas on how to make this a super, non boring exercise. You should never get tired of doing push ups, they are just too valuable and too many variations to ever drop it for, say, a bench press?
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