Push ups are one thing that most women would like to be able to do well.
In my fitness boot camps, most come to me not being able to do one from their toes.
As well as being an upper body toner, the lowly push up tightens and tones the core and even strengthens the lower back. In fact, I’d venture to say that the push up is one of the most effective and misunderstood exercises. I think it has a bad rep from associations with junior high or middle school PE teachers barking out orders to ‘drop down and give me 20!’ as a punishment.
I have a few sneaky push up tricks to help you increase the quality and quantity of push ups you’re able to do. I call them ‘tricks’, but they’re really just ways to modify the regular push up so that in the end, you’ll be able to do more of the same with perfect form.
Enough in fact, to impress the heck outta that middle school PE teacher…
‘Three Point Power Position’
First off, look at the hand position. Don’t let the hands get too narrow. While there’s nothing wrong with doing narrow push ups, you’ll target the triceps specifically and won’t be able to easily engage the strong muscles of the chest. Open up those hands and ensure they’re inline with the shoulders. That way, you’ll have the chest, shoulders and triceps pushing together on your push up to fully maximize your strength.
Secondly, the core is your center of power. Engage the core muscles by tucking the tummy in and holding tight. Don’t let it bulge or sink towards the floor. Adding planks to your routine will dramatically increase your push up power as well.
Thirdly, most people don’t think of widening their base of support, or straddling their legs when doing the push up. This is a great ‘go to’ option before dropping to the knees. This is a great way to take some of the weight from the upper body and spread it over the lower body to help you out.
If you’re looking for more ways to tighten and tone, including how to increase the quality of your push ups, check out my ‘other’ program called Challenge Workouts. It’s a program that helps you learn how to do a pull up and increase your push up power. There’s a body weight module too, so if you have no equipment, you can pretty much do it anywhere.