Doing push ups is one of the first things people think about to get in shape. They’re not wrong but if you really want to get in shape consider an all round home gym muscle building workout. But this post is going to be dedicated to push ups, how to do them right, how to do more and when to do them. I’m going to include a hard and an easy (slower) way to learn push ups.
Can’t do a proper pushup yet? If you can skip to your first push up below.
Push Up Progression:
Start with counter push ups
Counter push ups are simple, find a kitchen counter or a power rack/bench in the gym. If you’re using a power rack put a barbell on it as low as you can go. Aim to do 4 sets of 12-15 reps with 60 second rest before moving onto the next progression. Make sure your whole body is straight throughout the whole movement. Aim to get your hands shoulder width apart and don’t let your elbows flare out or in.
“Girl Push Ups” are a great stepping stone to your first proper push up. Cross your legs and rest your knees on the floor, again keep your torso (body) and neck in line and hands shoulder width apart. Aim to do 3 sets of 12 with a rest of 60 seconds. Move on to normal push ups as soon as you can do one with proper technique.
If you can only do 1-12 normal push ups start here
Proper Push Up Technique
You’ll want to start with elbows in push ups, getting your arms in at your side and your hand shoulder width apart, make sure your whole body is a straight line and your elbows don’t flare out. Try to keep your head neutral or looking up a bit. Keep your feet a small distance apart.
The fast way to learn push ups:
Once you can do at least one push up, it’s time to increase the volume. Do as many full push ups as you can and then finish the rest of the set doing knee push ups. Do 4 sets of 12 like this 2-3 times a week.
The slower but easier way:
Every day, do as many proper push ups as you can bar 1 or 2. Do this 2-3 times a day, this is good to do before every meal or every time you walk into your room as a prompt. This is easier because you don’t need to push your body to failure. It’ll take a bit longer to get to 4 sets of 12 push ups with 60 second rest. For example if you can only do 3 proper push ups, you’ll aim to do 6 push ups a day split over 3 sets spread as far apart as possible.
Advanced Push Up Workout:when form goes drop to knees in each workout, start once you can do 4 sets of 12 standard push ups.
Do this 2-3 times a week.
Diamond Push Ups 3×12 60 second rest. Make a triangle under your chest using your thumb and fingers.
Standard Push Ups 2×12 60 second rest. As done above
Wide Arm Push Ups 2×12 60 second rest. Put your arms as wide as you do for bench press, don’t let your elbows flare in or out.
Ideally you want to mix press ups in with a balanced workout, especially as you get to the advanced push up workout. This is because you need to develop the opposite muscles to your chest, front delts and triceps etc. Otherwise your muscles will grow and stretch out of proportion and cause pains. If you’re at home add in wide grip pullups and some kind of bench dips. Learn your first 1-5 pullups
Trying to get a big chest?
Do bench press as heavy as you can bare for 6-10 reps, then go straight into regular or wide arm push ups for as many reps as you can. If the push ups are way too easy and you’re getting more than 10 in, then use the tempo 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up on bench press and push ups. Make sure you balance this with some rows and/or bent over lat raises etc so you grow in proportion to the rest of your body.that’s all the push up knowledge you need for now, there are more advanced push up workouts you can do but i wanted to make the whole post suitable for beginners and some people will take a year or more to get to the advanced push up workout.