Can you do a Push Up? You will after reading this. (Even if you are a guy who needs help.)
Man or Woman, Push Ups are perhaps the first exercise we learn or hear about when it comes to working out.
It may be the first exercise boys try to do as they grow up, but be honest ladies. Every girl wants to be able to do at least 1 real push up (and Chin Up, but that's a future article.)
Push Ups are not a man only exercise. There are many strong women that can do them. Oftentimes with even better form than their ego inflated fellow bros.
Follow these tips and you'll be doing them better than most men
Tip 1 - Move Your Body As 1 Unit
Ever see people do a push up and it almost looks like they are break dancing? That's because they aren't using their entire body.
The push up is not just a chest exercise. It involves the entire body. All of it.
So to effectively move the entire body you first need to brace all your joints. This means you will stiffen all the major muscles around major joints. Especially shoulders, and even your legs. (For an explanation on bracing read Here)
Yes, legs. Legs along with the gluten are an important part of a push up. By stiffening activating the legs along with the shoulders you ensure that there are no energy leaks as you perform the movement. And what ties the legs and upper body together? Your core.
So activate and brace your legs, core, and upper body/shoulders as 1 complete unit. That will ensure that the strength you apply to the push up will actually propel you and leak out.
After all you are doing a push up not break dancing. We can write another article about doing the worm another time.
Tip 2 - Try An Elevated Push Up
Now you might be saying to yourself "But Coach Nino, that is a lot harder!"
Yes it is and it's true you may not be able to brace your entire body as 1 strong unit and push up. But that's ok.
Enter this key exercise: The Hands Elevated Push Up.
By elevating your upper body on a bench or even against a wall, you will be able to practice bracing, and moving your body together as one. That will really build true strength.
Think about it. Isn"t regressing to an easier version of a real exercise going to give you better benefits than not doing a movement? The goal is to do the real thing for real. Not fake it.
If you skimp on form you won't build muscle and transform your body. A shortcut isn't a shortcut if it doesn't take you where you want to go.
Tip 3 - Try An Explosive Push Up
What if you have used the tips above and you are so close to accomplishing a real push up from the floor. You can almost taste it! But you just cant quite get it?
You may just need a slight boost. Literally. Just add a little explosiveness.
While bracing properly, with a stiffened body, gather your shoulder blades together, lift your hands up and punch the ground explosively!
This will accelerate you through any sticking point you may have. As a side note, if you have a hard time "locking out" your push up, as in the top near the end is difficult for you, it means that you may need to incorporate direct tricep work. The triceps are the weak link in the body if that's the case.
Tip 4 - Don't Lock Out
Speaking of locking out, Don't.
Women in general have the advantage of being more flexible. Their joints are more mobile. This means that they can get into positions that can cause injury.
If someone is stiff they may never be able to get into a position of injury in the first place. But if you are blessed with the power of mobility then respect it. Don't abuse it. Use it cautiously.
Just because you may be able to reach greater ranges of mobility in the "end" positions of your joints doesn't mean you should. With most exercises you'll want to move until the limb is straight. In other words remember you are working muscles not joints.
When the muscle has reached the position it needs to stop. Even if the joint can travel more. This is especially true for highly repetitive movements. Doing so will keep you push uping for many years to come.
Ladies, you are awesome. You can accomplish anything you want to. Push Ups are yours to conquer! So get off your knees and follow these simple tips:
Never bow down to them again. Push Ups are yours to conquer!
- Coach Nino