Beginner's guide to doing push ups

Fit & Training door thijs

Always wanted to perform push ups but don't know where to start? No worries! Just like any exercise, you're going to be able to drop down and give someone 20 once you put in the effort into a solid training routine. This post has all you need to know to go from not being able to do one push up to being able to keep raising the number of push ups you can do in one sitting. Here's your beginner's guide to doing push ups!

What's so good about doing push ups?

You encounter push ups everywhere you look: in the movies, in the gym class, on that girl's Instagram page that you follow. But what's the big deal with them? Well, they are an amazing test of strength. Performing a push up means that you're going to use most of your upper body. It's a great workout for your chest, shoulders and arms. And it offers many different variations so you can really focus on one body part.

Plus, you don't need any equipment to do it, meaning that you can get some exercise in no matter where you are. It's quick, easy, and really effective. What more do you need? Besides,  people are always impressed if they see a girl doing push ups with ease. ;)

Finding the right form

If you are unable to do a traditional push up, start off by doing knee push ups and build up the strength till you can perform them on your toes. Everyone needs to start somewhere, so just keep at it and you will see the development! While doing push ups at a fast pace seems impressive, I advise you to take your time and do slow push ups so that you really get used to the movement and actively engage the muscles that you're using.

The first thing you need to do when it comes to form, is to make sure that you keep your head and your neck in line with your torso. Next, set up your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and try to imagine your body as a straight line. This means engaging your abs to keep yourself straight and not sticking your butt into the air! A little tip: looking forward, instead of looking down helps you to keep your body straight as well.

When you lower your body to the ground, try to keep your elbows in as much as possible. Stop once your elbows are about a 45 degree angle, then push yourself back up until your arms lock again.

From 0 to 100 Real Quick

The key to being able to do more push ups is simple: keep trying. As you keep practicing, you're going to build up strength in the muscles necessary for performing the movement.

Set some time aside to do push ups three or four times each week. Start by doing a set of 10 push ups, and resting for 3 minutes. Then do 2 or 3 more sets with the same amount of rest time. Strength doesn't develop at the same speed for everyone, so it's up to you to notice when it's time to challenge yourself some more. If you're able to do the push ups easily, then start giving yourself a shorter rest time.  So take 2 minute breaks, then 1 minute breaks, till you reach the point where you don't need to do any breaks. From then on, you can start doing larger sets! And you'll find the number of push ups you're able to do go up massively over time.

Combine your push up training with strength training as well. Work out your chest, shoulders, arms and abs using other exercises, and this will also help you with your push up game. Good luck!