The pushup is one of the oldest and best exercises around. It is also one of the most difficult! If you have ever tried to do a push up and failed spectacularly, then you may think you are not capable of doing one. Do not be trapped by this thinking! You can do a series of modified pushups that will increase your upper body strength, so you can work your way up to a traditional pushup. Here is everything you need to know about pushups for women.
Why should I do pushups?
Pushups work multiple body parts and require no equipment. You can get a full body workout anywhere! You work your chest, shoulders, arms, core and glutes when you do a push up. It is also a great functional strength move. If you are strong enough to do a push up, then should have no problem if you fall and need to get back up off the ground.
How do I get started doing pushups?
Begin by facing a walk about arm’s length away. Press both palms against the wall and lean forward, keeping your core and glutes engaged. Try to keep your body in a straight line, from the top of your head, down to your feet. Keep your elbows close to your body instead of flaring them out. Get your chest as close to the wall as you can and then push back. Once you can do 2 sets of 20 very easily, you are ready to move on to the next step.
2- Incline Pushups
Now that you have mastered the pushup standing up, it is time to begin lowering your upper body more. You can do incline pushups on just about anything – a dresser, bed, couch, workout bar, bench or step. The higher your incline, the easier your pushup will be. Again, keep your body in a straight line and engage your core and glutes as you lower and lift yourself. Your goal is to get your chest as close to your hands as possible. You can increase the difficulty of these by lowering the incline. Once you get to 2 sets of 20 with no problem, then you can move on.
You may have heard of these as “girl pushups,” but they are anything but easy. Plenty of men need to do pushups on their knees, so do not feel like you are “less than” when doing knee pushups! Place your hands on the floor and get into a plank position on your knees. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders. Lower your chest to the ground while keeping a straight line from the top of your hand to your knees. Try not to look directly down and keep your whole body engaged. Once you can easily do 40 knee pushups, you are ready to try for the traditional pushup.
Start in a good plank position with your butt down, core engaged, and hands under your shoulders. You can place your feet farther apart for more stability, if needed. As you lower down, keep your body in a straight line. Again, your chest should hit the ground first and your elbows should stay close to your body. If you cannot lower your chest all the way to the ground, go as low as you can. You are getting stronger with every push!
Are there any other pushup variations?
Yes! You can change what body parts you are working by positioning your hands in different ways and moving your legs. You can try adding in a clap between each push or move one leg up towards your arm as you push down. You can also try doing pushups with only one leg or with just one hand! You can also put your feet up on a bench with your hands on the ground for a decline pushup. Or place your hands on an exercise ball to work your stability muscles.
Pushups are a great, versatile exercise that everyone should do. Do not be discouraged if you think you cannot do a pushup. Start with the easier forms and slowly work your way up. Consistent practice will have you doing pushups with the boys at the gym in no time!