How To Do Push Ups – More Than Lifting

How To Do Push Ups

Push Ups are arguably the most well know exercise, other than Squats (obviously). They are simple, need no equipment and come free with an unlimited amount of variations so you will never get bored of them!

Things You Will Need To Do Push Ups:

One of the great things about push ups is you don't need anything!

You can get parallettes or push up grips, you can even use other props like an exercise ball to make them harder. You can find out about training equipment here.

Pre-Requisites To Push Ups?

Push Ups are pretty basic. They are the Level 1 of Push Exercises. But I know people who cant do a decent push up, so if you can't, here are a few simple Beginner Push Ups to help get you started.

These are not Pre-Requisite exercises, more like Regressions if you are unable  to do proper push ups.

Kneeling Push Up

One simple regression for push ups is knee push ups.

Instead of levering off your toes, with your legs straight, you shorten the lever to your knees making it easier.

One thing I would say with knee push ups, do the on a mat or carpet at home, otherwise you might bruise your knees!

Raised Push Up

Raised push ups are another great regression. They make push ups easier by bringing it closer to vertical.

Instead of doing them on the floor, try putting your hands on a chair or stool. The higher it is the easier it will make your reps.

Don't go crazy with these regressions. Hopefully you can do regular push ups and you can skip all of this, otherwise I would say get out of these regressions as quickly as possible.

You don't want to spend all of your valuable training time doing push ups on a bench! Get good and move on FAST.

How To Do Push Ups: Step By Step Instructions

Now we have covered the regressions, let's get into proper push ups!

Step 1 - Set Up

Get into the plank position, arms shoulder width apart.

Hands should be comfortable on the floor pointing forwards and your body should make a nice straight line head to toe.

Step 2 - Negative​​​​​​​

Slowly lower yourself towards the ground by bending your arms.

Make sure you are resisting gravity and not dropping to the floor.

Step 3 - Pause At The Bottom

Pause briefly at the bottom of the rep to make sure you are stable and read to push up.

You should alway pause at the top/bottom of your rep, it kinda counts as an isometric 😉

Step 4 - Push Up

Push Into the floor to bring yourself back up to the starting point.

Keep your elbows tight into your body, and keep your body straight so you don't leave your hips on the floor!

Step 5 - Pause At The Top

When you get back to the top dont dive straight back to the floor.

Rushing doesnt make good reps.

Instead Pause at the top, stragihten your arms fully and make sure your shoulders are extended.

Training Tips

Hand Placement

Lay on the floor and place your hands in line with your chest, shoulder width apart

Don't go too wide, your shoulders should come right down over your hands.

Tight Core

The aim is to stay nice and flat from your feet up to your shoulders.

Tightening your core will help avoid sagging hips in your push ups.

Elbows Tight

When you do push ups keep your elbows tight.

You may find they naturally want to lean out at awkward angles at first, but keeping your elbows in is safer and will help you stay straight.

How To Fit Push Ups Into Your Workout

Push Ups are great to do anywhere anytime, no need to worry just get started! 

Having said that, when you are more advanced, it can get easy to forget about the humble old push up because you are 'too strong' for that.

Let me show you how you could keep that classic exercise in your sessions:

I recommend and heavily use Trisets and Supersets in training, so you would pair push ups (push exercise) with a pull exercise like Bodyweight Rows - this is all explained in the workout guide which you can get below.

That way you have a balanced superset you can quickly throw in at the end of a hard session, to really push your limits.

Check out the Beginner Triset for more information.

Push Up Variations

Yes! one of my favourite topics! Push Up Variations

There are loads of variations for all difficulties and styles of training, from simple grip changes like Diamond Push Ups, to explosive Plyometric Push Ups to Handstand Push Ups.

Just one more reason you are NEVER too good for push ups.

Now I understand that many of these push ups seem impossible at the minute do not worry!

Everyone starts at Level 1, and each time you hit a milestone, you will unlock the next level of push up variations to try.

Also this year I am running a 100 Push Up Challenge, where each week I share a new progressively harder push up workout, from basic to super extreme! 

Find out more about the 100 Push Up Challenge and to get involved, check out the page here!

About the Author

Hey, I'm Rhys and I'm the Coach at MoreThanLifting I am a gymnast, calisthenics enthusiast and personal trainer. I help people get into great shape with bodyweight strength and skill training.

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