Push-ups

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  • mhankosk
    mhankosk Posts: 535 Member
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    Start against a wall, increasing the distance of your feet from the wall to increase difficulty. Next progression is at a slight incline on a sturdy desktop or something. Then on the floor but on your knees. Then regular. It might take a while to work up.

    This 100%. Doing them on your knees doesn't let you progress and doesn't work your core as much. Work down from the wall to a railing, to a bench, to the floor. Focus on your abs and tighten your butt muscles. It's as much a core exercise as it is a chest one (well maybe not AS much, but both are important). Good luck :)
  • riffraff2112
    riffraff2112 Posts: 1,757 Member
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    some good advice. Bench press, incline and practice. Form is important.
    You will get there, keep it up sounds like you have made some awesome progress.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,728 Member
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    mhankosk wrote: »
    Start against a wall, increasing the distance of your feet from the wall to increase difficulty. Next progression is at a slight incline on a sturdy desktop or something. Then on the floor but on your knees. Then regular. It might take a while to work up.

    This 100%. Doing them on your knees doesn't let you progress and doesn't work your core as much. Work down from the wall to a railing, to a bench, to the floor. Focus on your abs and tighten your butt muscles. It's as much a core exercise as it is a chest one (well maybe not AS much, but both are important). Good luck :)

    If you must do them from your knees, start in the correct plank(front leaning rest) start position and keep the rigid plank while just dropping your knees.

    There should still be a straight line from the base of your spine to your knees. Keep your abs and glutes tight.
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,948 Member
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    sgt1372 wrote: »
    trudie_b wrote: »
    . . . I still can't do full push-ups!! My sticking point is on the way up, I can't seem to get up from the floor without piking my hips. ]Can someone tell me which muscles I need to concentrate on strengthening, specifically for this goal?
    trudie_b wrote: »
    I think my core is pretty strong, I can hold a plank for two minutes easily. I feel like it's more around my armpit/chest that's the weak point, pecs, is it? Is that possible?

    The primary muscles used in push-ups are the pecs, deltoids, triceps and the core/body stabilizers. You lift approximately 2/3rds of your bodyweight when you to a standard plank pushup from the toes (not knees).

    A push-up is basically a bench press in reverse. While there are certain advantages to doing a bench press (BP) that make it easier to do as a closed chain exercise, people can theoretically lift as much weight doing a push-up as they can doing a BP. So, if you can BP at least 2/3rd's of your body weight, you should also be able to do a push-up.

    The exercises you can do to increase your push up strength would include (but are not limited to), the BP (as well as the incline press to specifically strengthen the upper pecs), the overhead press (OHP), dips (any/all variations) and shoulder raises (forward, in particular).

    The fact that you are lifting your hips on the way up has nothing to do w/a weak core. You're just trying to cheat the lift by raising your hips (like someone would try to lift their legs doing pull ups) because your upper body isn't strong enough to complete the movement.

    Your core stabilizers just keep your body straight and are not principally involved in doing a push-up. In other words, they are under no significant muscular stress during the movement.

    If you can hold a plank for 2 mins, your core is strong enough but, if you think you need additional core work, the best exercises for that would be any of the 4 major compound lifts, including the BP and OHP (already mentioned) as well as SQTs and DLs.

    FWIW, few woman can to full straight plank pushups from the toes. While women (on average) have weaker upper bodies than men, I don't think women are physically incapable of doing them. I think it's mainly that women who can't do them have failed to adequately train to do them.

    Just like pull-ups, if you set your objective as being able to do a certain # of push-ups and you engage in a program to build the strength necessary to do them, I believe you eventually will.

    It just takes time, dedication and determination. Absent any serious injuries or disabilities, if you want it bad enough, you should be able to achieve it.

    Good luck!

    @sgt1372 this is the best breakdown of the pushup I have ever read. This needs to be a sticky!