There’s nothing like a push up to leave you feeling completely bad ass #LGBadAssBabes <- I’m kind of liking that lol. Movements like push ups and pull ups are a great way to test our strength simply with our body weight as resistance. Still, they aren’t easy. In fact, if you can’t complete a single pull up or push up, you’re in the majority.
I’m here, however, to change that! I want you to feel and know all that you’re capable of, so I’ve put together a little “Up Your Push Up Game Plan” Let’s get started.
Before we can improve, we’ve got to find our starting point. Test your Push Up PR by seeing how many push ups you can complete to failure, how many push ups you can complete in 30, 45, 60 seconds, or any other way you’d like to assess. Personally, I like to know how many push ups I can complete until failure, but just be prepared to be sore the days following! If you haven’t yet tested your push up PR, allow for at least 3-4 days to recover before jumping into this game plan.
(2) IMPROVE YOUR UPPER BODY STRENGTH
Lifting weights to improve our upper body strength will help us improve our push up game. The muscles primarily involved in a push up include the pectoral/chest muscles, the deltoid/shoulder muscles, the triceps/back of arm muscles and, of course, the core. By including exercises in our weight training regimen that include those muscles, we will be strengthening to improve our push up performance.
NOTE: your LG workouts already include plenty of upper body strength training. Also, it’s important to train the back just as often as the chest to keep from inducing strength imbalances and for posture alignment. Don’t worry… your LG Weight Training Plans have you covered there too!
(3) WORK THE MOVEMENT | MUSCLE MEMORY
Most importantly, if we want to improve at a specific movement, we must work the movement. It’s kind of like riding a bike. The only way to learn to ride a bike and improve is what?! To ride the bike! Push ups are pretty similar. Muscle memory refers to using repetition to form a procedural memory that can be stored in the brain. Just like with riding a bike! To improve our push up game, we will have to practice those push ups and push up variations.
(4) IMPROVE YOUR FORM
Proper Push Up Form Reminders
- start with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart; if you’re on a yoga mat, your hands should be on either sides of the mat
- bring your shoulders directly over your hands
- ensure your fingers are pointing forward and slightly out to either side
- keep a straight line from your head to your ankles; this straight line should be maintained throughout the movement
- squeeeeeeeze those glutes
- to engage to core think of pulling your belly button back to your spine
I’ve put together a series of 4 movements to include in your Push Up Game Plan. Complete each of the first 3 exercises for 8-10 reps (beginner to intermediate) or 30 seconds each (intermediate to advanced) before moving onto the next exercise. When you get to the traditional push ups, go for as many reps as you can. You can complete this for multiple rounds OR add this into an upper body workout.
Incline push ups are a great place to start. Preforming push ups on an incline makes the movement slightly easier, which is beneficial for beginners. You can even do these on a staircase! As you progress, work down the stairs for a greater challenge.
Push ups off the knees are a modification of a traditional push up that will make the movement a little less challenging while working the motion for that muscle memory.
A chest press will improve our push up performance by strengthening the muscles making the push up motion possible.
All of these exercises will lead up to an improved push up. Try your hardest here to complete as many as possible whether it’s an attempt at one rep or a ridiculously challenging amount!
EXERCISE SUMMARY | PRINTABLE + PIN-ABLE
WORKOUT PRINTABLE: CLICK HERE
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