Okay so everyone loves pushups (or should) because it’s a full body exercise and recuits a lot more muscles then you think!
Now, males pretty much own the pushup (not all, but the majority), because of their centre of gravity, they are naturally have much more muscle on the top/shoulders than women do. Women have… hips, which makes it more difficult for their perfect pushup technique.
First off, if you are interested or you love doing pushups, take a look at yourself on a floor length mirror (has to touch the floor) or take a video of yourself to analyse your pushup. You want to look for these things:
– How far is your chest getting to the floor
– Is your mid back sagging?
– Do your elbows wing out the more you do the pushups
– You do the worm, your chest comes up off the floor before your hips do.
– You drop your head.
Here are my tips for your pushups if you can do a pushup but want to work on your form:
Tip #1: watch where you put your arms. When your arms are out wide like the letter T, it puts more strain on your shoulders and also doesn’t recruit your pectoralis muscle at the greatest percentage. Your elbows should look more like this:
Tip #2: If you feel like you’re going to collapse on your pushups because you can’t get down low enough, hit up the bench pressing! You will definitely need to strengthen your pecs as well as your triceps, so exercises like Cable Chest Press, Assissted Dips, Cable Fly, etc. Exercises for the triceps: Bench dips, skull crushers, Tricep extensions with a cable.
Tip #3: If your back is sagging, your hip flexors/rectus abdominis/obliques are weak. Exercises to help get rid of that sagging or worminess: Plank for time, Dynamic Planks: tap out with one hand at a time, alternating, move your whole body to the side, back to the centre, and out to the other side. PallOfPress, Hip Raise, V-ins.
Weak glutes can also attribute to this, so to aid in strengthening your core you could do some 4 point leg extensions, bridges, Fire – hydrants.
Tip #4: It is more important to do pushups with perfect form (even if you have to modify them) than to do 30 reps doing the worm and not being able to get down low enough. Always aim for perfect pushup. If you have to do them off of a step (incline) that’s fine, or on your knees. If your elbows start winging out, make note and re-adjust.
Tip #5: You won’t know you have a tendency of dropping your head unless someone else is watching you or you are very mindful of yourself and you make a mental note. Try and look at something a little farther away from you on the floor and make sure to keep your eyes on it and that will keep your head level, NOT looking up, but in line with your spine.
When performing a pushup, the body moves as one whole unit, two parts of your body should not be moving at two different times or not moving at all.
Um…. I can’t do a pushup?
That’s okay! I am still working on my perfect form and don’t ever say that you can’t do a pushup. If you want to get into training for pushups realize that it is going to take a while but don’t get discouraged. Set your mind, set a schedule, workout minimum 3 times a week strength training. (But don’t forget to work your back, you need to pull just as much as you push!)
Start with some simple exercises that I mentioned above. Start working on incline pushups which can be done quite well on a Smith machine because it’s adjustable. Start with pushups on a wall. Consistency is key!
After a period of time you will see that your strength will improve greatly!
Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask!
And also, if you’re into pushups you MUST check out this article, it has great tips, more information on pushups and awesome exercises: