20.9.12

Perfect Form: Push Up

The last record for Push Ups in one minute was recorded by the Guinness Book of Records in 2004 and stood at 138! I don't know about you, but I cannot do anywhere near that amount! I think the last time I checked, I could do 19 (hmmm or maybe 9?!) full press ups (with some strain and struggle!). During my time teaching, I have seen women shy away from full press ups while the guys use them to prove their manliness! It's time the girls "manned up" and the boys do it with perfect form!

(image from Men's Health)

The Push Up works your chest, triceps and deltoids; it also benefits other muscles including your abdominal regions. Push Ups should form the foundation of any good bodyweight routine such as Nike Training Club along with other exercises such as Plank (see my previous post, Perfect Form: Plank).

So, how do you do it?!


1. To start, keep your torso straight with a straight line from your ears to your toes. There should be no sagging or bending and the weight should be over your shoulders. Place your hands just wider than shoulder width, still in line with yours shoulders.

2. Take 2 - 3 seconds to lower your body towards the ground until your elbows are bent and your chest is an inch from the ground. Ensure your whole body moves at the same time. Then immediately push yourself back up to your starting position.

They're not easy right?! I always encourage everyone to give these a go, even if it's just one. Then you can place your knee's on the ground (see image below) whilst assuming the same position as described above to complete your set.
(image from Women's Health)

I suggest the following number of sets and repetitions:

Beginner: 2 sets of 5 - 10
Intermediate: 3 sets of 10 
Advanced: 4 sets of 15 - 20 (or an alternative advanced version)

As with most exercises, there are plenty of variations out there; one of my favourite being the decline push up with side crunch! Check out the video here

So good luck, go get that toned upper body! 

Elle :) x

P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP. 

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