Push up is one great bodyweight exercise that a lot of people find difficult especially ladies, and I know this because I am a fitness enthusiast, I have a great workout routine and my strength training is superb but the question remains, why is push up so hard?
Push-up can be very beneficial if you can get it right but it’s so hard to do because it involves multiple muscle groups and requires you to fully engage your core. The legs, arms, abs and back are fully involved in making this a success. In my early fitness days, I tried a couple of times and it wasn’t just working so I completely gave up on learning to do push-ups. But recently, I just told myself I gotta learn this and just like our African parents will say, ‘other people doing it, do they have two heads?” So I started but I’m not perfect yet but I’m definitely better.
Before I share the steps with you, let’s see the benefits of push-ups.
Exercise is fantastic but we know certain exercises surprisingly have quick effects, exercises like planks and squats, push-ups etc.
Benefits of doing Push-up Exercise:
- Push up increases your respiration rate and heart rate, this makes you feel energised and light-weighted afterwards.
- It tones your muscles and makes them more defined. Ladies who do this have an elegant gait because it makes you walk shoulder high, guys also have a very defined cut and a charismatic look.
- It improves your upper body strength which makes it easier to do other difficult exercises and improves your overall strength. Most ladies are scared of doing push-ups because they think it will make them look like a ‘hulk’, it may not give you that defined cut if you don’t want it but it will sure make you strong.
- Those of you screaming I wanna have a flat stomach, I wanna have a flat stomach, push up is for you, it strengthens your core and works your abs, giving you a flat stomach if consistently done.
- It’s a good exercise to correct bad posture. If you have been slouching and hunched, push-ups define your shoulders and if correctly done will give you a perfect posture.
- You shed fat fast and build stronger muscles.
Steps to start doing pushups
Now that we know the benefits of push-up, let’s start doing it right.
Firstly, know that no matter what stage you are at, the position and posture remains the same. Ensure your full palm is on the floor or on the wall or any surface as the case may be and keep arms wide open to fully go the range without injuring yourself.
- Wall push-ups: this is the easiest variation of push-up and it is where every beginner should start from and progress to the difficulty level. To do the wall push-ups, find a solid smooth surface and stay about a meter away from the wall then slide towards the wall and place your palms apart but around your shoulder level. Press towards the wall and back. This may hurt a little if you are a rookie but if you consistently do this and keep increasing your reps, you will be apple to move to the next level within a week.
- Incline push-ups: this type of push up requires you to use a platform or a higher surface like a bench, a table or a chair for this push-up. The level of difficulty here is worse than the wall push-up, but you have to maintain the same posture as you would on a normal floor pushup, engage all muscle groups correctly so that your body and muscles begin to get used to the exercise. push up is physical but it’s body and mind work, you have to build that inner strength to get to the next level.
- Knees on the ground push-up: in this next level, it is now essential that you engage more muscle groups, you need to tighten your abs, squeeze your glutes and push from within. There are two ways you can do this, you can either keep your knees on the ground as well as your toes or keep knees on the ground and raise your feet. Whichever you are comfortable with, place your palms widely on the ground and dip as much as you can. This would be tougher than the first two push-ups but by now you can see that your strength and endurance level is way better than when you started. Pick a comfortable number of reps and do a set of five, no matter how small it is all you need to do is be consistent.
- Full push-up: now this is the main course of this meal, everything you have read has led us to this very essential part, the full-body push-up.If you have started with the levels mentioned above and have gotten here, I congratulate you. Now, what does the full body push-up entail? It is exactly what you have been doing but now you get to confidently do it on the floor. Here you begin to engage your full body, lay like you are about to assume a plank position but instead of your elbow supporting your body, place your palms widely like you want to grip the floor, make sure your arms are straight and not slanted. Remember your legs are straight and supported by your toes, now tighten your core, tighten your glutes and push through your toes then go up and down. For starters, you may only be able to do five reps which is a great start, just keep up with that and do about 5-10reps and very soon you would develop strong arms to be able to do 20-to 50 push-ups at a go.
What do you think, sounds great, yeah? Now, while doing pushups, focus on your abs, shoulders and scapular. (That’s your upper back) if you don’t feel the strain on your scapular then it’s possible you are not getting the movement and position right and you are likely to injure yourself. Also, make sure not to drop your head forward while doing this exercise.
Push-up is a bodyweight exercise that you can do at home, at the gym and anywhere you find convenient because it needs no equipment or partner to perform. Share this with someone who needs it and Have fun working out!