When it comes to bodyweight movements, one of the most common exercises that people tend to struggle with most are push ups. Here’s 4 tips that will help to strengthen and condition your body to be able to do more reps with more control.
- Try Inclines
Dropping to your knees is one way to make things slightly easier, but you can also swap it up and raise your hands on to a bench/box/chair, feet still on the floor and do incline push ups. Make sure to get your chest all the way to your hands, pause then press back up.
- Slow Descents
One of the biggest issues with push ups is the ability to hold your own bodyweight under tension. By focusing only on the downward phase of the push ups (aim to lower yourself to the floor slowly for 5-10 seconds), you’ll strengthen all the supporting muscle groups needed to do more reps. This is a great drill to see results in short time. Try 3–4 sets of 5–10 reps.
- Static Holds
Static holds, also known as Isometrics, require you to hold an exercise at a certain part of the movement. To benefit your push ups, position yourself in a plank position, tighten your core, then lower your chest to the floor and hold there for 10-20 seconds. Straighten back up to the starting position, rest and repeat. The key benefits of static training are that you’ll increase your muscular endurance and muscular strength.
Another area of the push up many struggle with is not the pushing from the ground portion of the exercise. Usually people have their hands out too wide and let the elbows flare out too much, greatly increasing the difficulty. Instead of setting up with your hand position high and wide like the letter T… keep your elbows at a roughly 40 degree angle from the body for better leverage and an overall stronger push up (shown below).