Push Up Progressions

As far as bang for your buck, pushups are hard to beat! They target:

  • Pecs
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Serratus Anterior
  • And last but not least, abs. 

Not to mention, when you do them properly, you look really cool. And who doesn’t want that?!

Okay, let’s start at the beginning. If you can’t do a traditional pushup (yet), here are 3 tried-and-true ways to work your way down to the floor to join the cool kids.

PUSHUPS IN RACK 

This is my absolute favorite, primarily because the rack allows you to make small, incremental decreases and move closer to the floor. If you don’t have access to a rack, you can use a countertop, dresser, or chair.

  • Hands just outside shoulders. If you’re using a standard barbell, for most of you this means your hands will be a “thumb-length” from where the knurling begins (the knurling is the rough part of the bar)
  • Feet hip width apart
  • Neutral head (look straight at the floor)
  • Brace core and form straight line from your head to your heels
  • Arm angle 45-60 degrees
  • Touch chest to the bar at the bottom of your sternum (if you can’t touch your chest, raise the bar a few inches and try again)

PUSHUPS ON KNEES

Made it to the floor but still can’t quite crank out a proper pushup? 

  • Hands just outside shoulders
  • Thumbs pointed toward torso
  • Knees bent (make sure your knees are the fulcrum, not your hips!) 
  • Head neutral
  • Arms 45-60 degree angle
  • Really focus on straight line from head through your heels (it’s really easy to shoot your hips in this version!)
  • Touch your chest to the floor

ECCENTRIC PUSHUPS

Aaaaaaaaallllllmost there but not quite? Eccentrics are a fantastic way to build strength!

  • Hands just outside shoulders
  • Thumbs pointed toward torso
  • Arms 45-60 degree angle
  • Head neutral
  • SLOWLY lower yourself all the way to the floor
  • Bend knees and do a push up to get back into starting position

Have a question about a certain exercise? Email us – we’d love to help!

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