Push ups have always been an extremely difficult movement for me. When I first started CrossFit, I was very intimidated with the amount of push ups that were often listed in a workout on any given day. Thankfully through two years of training, my coaches have been able to give me some excellent tips that have helped me build proper push up strength, and I’m looking forward to sharing those tips with you here.
1. Push ups on a box VS push ups on your knees. I was always told if I couldn’t do a regular push up, to modify by going to my knees. For years, I did push ups on my knees, and for years, I didn’t get much better at them. After my coaches started swapping out the knee push up for the box push up, I started to see some great results. Push ups to a box changed the positioning of my entire body. This slight change in body position, trained the muscles I needed to get better at push ups. If you don’t have a box you can use any practical house hold item; a toy box, a laundry basket, a chair, a cooler, even a kitchen counter or a table.
2. Full range of motion. It’s not a perfect push up unless your chest touches the floor. Believe me, I know how hard this is, and my double A bra size wasn’t helping me at all in this department. If I couldn’t get all the way down to my chest, I’d go up to a higher box.
3. Hand & elbow positioning. Keeping my hands and elbows in closer really helped strengthen my triceps. Check the video below for details on hand positioning.
4. Squeeze The Butt. It took me a good year and half of ugly push ups to realize I was disengaging my core and butt. Push ups work my core almost equally as much as they work my arms. Push ups really are a great exercise for toning up your body!
5. Practice. Because push ups were such a huge weakness for me, I would make a habit of practicing them at home. During bath time, my kids would watch me do 5 sets of 5 push ups.
Check out our Perfect Push Up Video below! Let us know how you’re incorporating pushups in your workouts!