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How to learn to do a press up
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AuntieStella · 30/04/2020 07:59

I've never been able to do these! And it's a lockdown goal, but still seems very distant.

So far:

  • regular (3-4 times a week) strength and conditioning workouts. Core definitely improving, upper body a bit.
  • have been able to do wall press ups for a while
  • I have been watching instruction vids on good form
  • am now attempting to do from knees. I can manage to dip, and straighten a bit but not really lower myself right down

    What should I do differently/next?

  • carry on as I'm doing?
  • switch to starting on the floor and pushing up?
  • abandon doing them from the knees and work on the full leg version from now
  • do daily plank-based exercises as well?
  • other exercises????

    There's a bottle of Gin riding on a demonstration if lack of prowess at end of lockdown, so I'd like to make a bit more progress!!
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Jenala · 30/04/2020 08:17

I'd abandon doing them on your knees and do them on raised surface - against a wall, a windowsill, kitchen side etc. Shape is bet0ter.

Jerry Teixeira has lots of great videos for progressions to do push ups, pull ups, handstands etc. Here is his video for push up progressions, in the description underneath each progression has it's own video with a more in-depth demonstration and explanation of each progression:

He's legit and worth following.

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fellyjish · 30/04/2020 08:22

Im no fitness expert but Im also trying to improve my press ups with a view of eventually being able to do full ones.

I have been working on my shoulder strength as well as just press ups so yes I think plank would help, also plank variations such as shoulder taps and commando/up and down plank (I find this really hard!)

I've also just got some resistance bands and have started doing upper body work with them, they make it look very easy on YouTube etc but amazingly difficult!

Are you in the right position? Your hands need to be under your shoulders. DH is a fitness nut so got him to check my form last week and he pointed that out, it's so much easier than before when I had my arms too far in front of me!

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DownThePan · 05/05/2020 14:15

@jenala Thanks for that video link. It's a fitness goal to get my technique sorted. Hadn't even heard of wall push ups! Off to watch and try it out :)

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AuntieStella · 05/05/2020 17:37

That video is really helpful - though somewhat intimidating what with all those variations.

I still feel as if I'm miles from achieving one! But I have discovered I can do them against a kitchen counter, and have now moved down a bit to the side of an armchair, which I can nearly do

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MsMartini · 06/05/2020 09:54

That's what I did - gave up on knees (tho high reps on knees with strict form are a good exercise). I did them off my stairs - ten a day. Moved down a step when felt ready. I couldn't see how to make the jump from knees to no-knees whereas with inclined ones it is gradual. And yes other strength training helps too.

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CMOTDibbler · 07/05/2020 13:42

The stairs tip is genius! I've never been able to do a press up, and knees never really worked for me either as the angles were all wrong. I've just had a go on the stairs and can really see how I can work down them

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CatandtheFiddle · 08/05/2020 14:40

Just do them! A lot.

In a Pump or Aerobics class, I do them from the knee as I can go faster & keep in time with the music, but my personal trainer makes me do full length, hand release press ups.

It's taken about 18 months to feel strong enough to avoid the face plant (but I'm a tad over 60).

So do a full arm plank, and then bend your elbows. Get your whole body on the floor, release hands, replace them, then push up.

At first, your hips & bum will come up first but just keep persevering, and sucking in your stomach, and using the pressure through your shoulders into the floor.

It's hard to explain but it feels great!

If you do the full thing, it'll be messy at first but keep trying. It's core strength as much as arm & shoulder strength (my PT now gets me doing 10 hand release press ups just as a shoulder warm up).

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MaccaPacca81 · 08/05/2020 14:48

Try negatives....just do the concentric part of the exercise. Lower yourself down as slowly as possible.

Do that until you've built up enough strength to do the eccentric press element.

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EmpressPenguin · 08/05/2020 19:15

All good advice but especially the on the negatives ... I can knock out full body press ups now. The turning point for me was the trainer who advised me never to use knees on the way down, and lower slowly all the way to the floor. Use knees coming up if you need to. This really works to improve your upper body strength.

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