Push ups are a big insecurity for a lot of women. I know this because I hear about with my clients and now, @madelinemihaly hears about it inside Built By Annie (BBA). She told me I needed to make this post. So here we are…thank Maddy.
Before we get into progressions, and how to use them, know this: You’re training a skill. A skill that requires strength and efficiency. You need a strong core, strong lats, a strong chest and deltoids, triceps, and a strong back. (Yes, pulling can help improve pressing).
So have some grace for yourself. The push-up might seem like a simple movement. But especially for women who often carry the majority of their weight in their bottom half, it is quite a difficult skill to master. BUT DOABLE. So, let’s do it.
If you want to improve your push up, first think about it like the squat of the upper body.
Hand contact matters, alignment of wrists to elbows to shoulders matters, your elbow path matters (45-60 degrees from the body) etc.
▪️Use a slower down than up tempo (don’t judge me in these videos 🤣 it’s a blessing I could even do these).
▪️Use eccentrics (lowering only portion)
⬇️From knees and hands elevated (not videoed)
⬇️Then elevated hands (longer lever. No video)
Progress to the toes
Single arm deficit (offset push up)
Deficit push up
Once you get to a solid push up from your toes, we can also begin adding slow tempos or a weight vest as well.Essentially with each progression we are increasing LOAD, RANGE OF MOTION, OR BOTH. Again, I know.
Best push up post you’ve ever seen? Maybe not. But I hope this simple breakdown + progression was helpful. If you want to get strong, enjoy your workouts and make #educatedgains, then get on the Built by Annie waitlist. BBA is opening very soon and you don’t want to miss it!
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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