Push Up Tutorial


Hey Everyone!

As promised, here it is…my Push Up Tutorial!

Push ups are my favorite exercise…EVER!  I love ’em!  They give you a strong, sexy, tone upper body, plus, they are just cool!  I do have a “controversial” philosophy, however, when it comes to push ups…I HATE “girl”/modified push ups!  HATE them!  Before anyone gets defensive, let me explain:

First of all, most people do modified push ups incorrectly, i.e. ass in the air/not doing any bit of good:

see how my butt is up in the air?  that's incorrect!

see how my butt is up in the air? that's incorrect!

The proper form to do a modified push up is:

body stays flat

body stays flat

And for modified, you still need to go ALL the way down to the floor…like so close, you could kiss it 🙂

The second reason why I don’t like girl/modified push ups is because I think they are a cop out.  I think that everyone can do military style push ups if they work hard and practice.  When I teach my kickboxing classes, everyone has to do at least 2 military style  push ups each set before they are allowed to drop down to modified.  Then I encourage them to come back up to military whenever they feel like they can during the set.  The goal is to eventually increase the number of military style in the set and decrease the number of modified until they are eventually doing all military.

 

Proper form for a military style push up:

Up: body stays flat, neck stays neutral

Up: body stays flat, neck stays neutral

Down: body is flat, neck is neutral, ALL the way down to the floor (about 2 inches above the ground)

Down: body is flat, neck is neutral, ALL the way down to the floor (about 2 inches above the ground)

 

Once you get comfortable doing military style push ups, you can do some fun, challenging variations (these variations can also be done in the modified position):

Half Way and Hold Push Ups:

Start in a regular push up position

Start in a regular push up position

come half way down and hold for 5 seconds

come half way down and hold for 5 seconds

come all the way down and hold for 5 seconds...then back to half way, then all the way up.  this is one rep

come all the way down and hold for 5 seconds...then back to half way, then all the way up. this is one rep

 

Push up to Side Plank:

Start with a regular push up

Start with a regular push up

 

then on the way up go past start and up into a side plank.  hold for 5-10 seconds, then do the other side.

then on the way up go past start and up into a side plank. hold for 5-10 seconds, then do the other side.

 

Staggered Push Ups:

Start with one arm 6-12 inches in front of the other...

Start with one arm 6-12 inches in front of the other...

...then go down just like a regular push up.  Do a few reps, then switch sides.

...then go down just like a regular push up. Do a few reps, then switch sides.

 

 

Tricep  Push Ups:

Same as regular, but you keep your elbows in by your rib cage.

Same as regular, but you keep your elbows in by your rib cage.

 

Diamond Push Ups:

Same as regular, but hands are in a diamond shape.

Same as regular, but hands are in a diamond shape.

 

Incline Push Ups:

Use a step or a chair to elevate your feet...

Use a step or a chair to elevate your feet...

 

...go all the way down, just like a regular push up.

...go all the way down, just like a regular push up.

 

Bozu Push Ups: 

Same as regular, but you use your stabilizer muscles more

Same as regular, but you use your stabilizer muscles more

 

if you pause at the bottom, you will work your core a lot!

if you pause at the bottom, you will work your core a lot!

 

Spidermans:

 

Start in a regular position...

Start in a regular position...

 

...as you come down, bring your knee up to your elbow.  Repeat on the other side.

...as you come down, bring your knee up to your elbow. Repeat on the other side.

 

 

All of these different variations work slightly different muscles.  I would suggest doing a few variations at a time.  Do 2-3 sets of each variation with 5-20 reps each, depending on your level.  The more you do push ups, the more improvement you will see!  Every week in my kickboxing class, I test my students progress to make sure they are doing their push ups.  I will time them for one minute, and their goal is to see how many push ups they can do in that minute.  If they are practicing, the number should go up!  Also, once a month, we will do a push up  contest.  You may be surprised to hear that a girl won twice in a row once 😉

 

I hope you guys like my push up tutorial!  Let me know if you have any questions…and START DOING YOUR PUSH UPS TODAY!!

 

Leave a Comment: Push Ups…Love ’em or hate ’em?

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20 Responses to “Push Up Tutorial”

  1. Whit Says:

    OMG, love push ups! Love this tutorial. Can I link back?

  2. VeggieGirl Says:

    Love ’em!

  3. ClubVeg Says:

    Oh my gosh, Sarah – my arms are hurting just looking at you do it! haha.

    I really do need to work on upper body, though! When I was doing 30 Day Shred, they kept getting easier and easier – so I suppose it’s like anything! Much easier with practice…

    Great tutorial!

  4. Julie @savvyeats Says:

    Right now? I hate them.

    After reading your post? I might like them soon, now that I know how to mix it up and hit different muscle groups!

  5. Lindsey (Mrs. LC) Says:

    ummm can you come to G-ville and kick my butt in gear? LOL

    I’m bookmarking this. I love some of the variations (spidermans, diamonds) and can’t wait to try them out! 🙂

  6. Lindsey (Mrs. LC) Says:

    Oh hey – I’m going to Orlando this weekend. I don’t know if you have any plans, but a few of us (me, healthy Ashley, maybe Ryan @ Greens for Good, Megan, maybe Meghann) are getting together for dinner tomorrow night at Ethos at 6 – let me know if you’d like to come! (Shoot me an email at mrslcblog at gmail dot com).

  7. fittipexchange Says:

    So…I literally just had a laugh out loud moment. I was checking my blog stats and under the search engine section, this is what I found:

    Search Views

    fit tip exchange: 6
    shirtless rollerblader: 1
    shirtless climber: 1

    HAHA…shirtless climber and rollerblader? I am still dying laughing! I can’t wait to tell Spencer that someone googled ‘shirtless climber’ and found him on my blog!

  8. littlemissminny Says:

    Hate hate hate! I’m so weak in the upper body, so that’s why I hate them 😀

  9. Tay Says:

    LOVE it! Thanks so much. I feel so powerful when I do pushups 🙂

  10. Kimberly Says:

    I hate them, but I love this post!! I am going to make every effort to incorporate these into my routine. 🙂

  11. Christina Says:

    That’s hilarious about the search results!

    Alright, I’ll start up with pushups again. Like 15 before running, 15 after, then tricep dips. I really love yoga when the routine has planks, too!

  12. Luna Says:

    wow. i can’t even do one 😦

    • fittipexchange Says:

      I bet you could if you worked at it! Start with just 1 military if you can and 5 modified. Rest, then try it again. As you get stronger, bump up to 2 military, and the better you get, the more military you can add. A good goal to shoot for may be 5 military style in a row in the next few months! You CAN do it!!

  13. Shari B. Says:

    Hi Sarah!
    GREAT post!! Can I say I both love AND hate them?? Love the outcome, hate doing ’em. I’m on a roadtrip this week so I’ll have to try some variations of your pushups when I do my “outdoor exercise”.

  14. catiechurch Says:

    I just found your blog and I am loving it already! I really want to try to do those push ups and practice them. Recently I’ve noticed my arms are looking a little chubbier…. maybe my next challenge.

  15. Push-ups « Trying to be fit Says:

    […] Here’s the link to the blog about the different push-ups: https://fittipexchange.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/push-up-tutorial/ […]

  16. Now this feels like Fall « Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful Says:

    […] arms. Yesterday I was poking around on the blogs and I came across Sarah’s blog. She did a post on demonstrating all these great ways to do push-ups, and I mean-look at her arms! KILLER. I am willing to try some of these push-ups variations to tone […]

  17. Mac & Cheese Pizza « Savvy Eats Says:

    […] to mention earlier that I did push-ups and lower body weight-training last night.  Thanks to Sarah’s post on push-ups, I can now do 8 “normal” push-ups, 5 “diamond” push-ups, and 3 triceps […]

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