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20140520223318-jenna

Jenna A asked the question in 30 push-ups in one go

Whats the secret to doing a 'real' push up?!

Now this may sound daft, but I genuinely don't think i can complete one 'real' push up. Are there a few step by step instructions anyone could suggest, so i could check that im doing it right? I imagine it is just that I dont have the strength yet, but any tips would be gratefully received!

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Answers (5)

The key to doing push ups is total body tension. As soon as you start thinking that push ups are an exercise only for chest, shoulders and arms you are setting yourself up at a disadvantage. A push up done right is like a total body dynamic plank.

Here is how i teach all of my clients and athletes to perform a push up.

- Elbows tucked in not flared out to the side and arms rotated forward (think turning your elbow in toward your side). These 2 action will help activate the lats.

- Rotate your pelvis forward to take away the anterior tilt. This will help you engage and contract your abdominal muscles.

- Squeeze your glutes and keep them contracted. This will help stabilise your hips and keep your pelvis in the correct position.

- Squeeze your knees and heels together as hard as you can and keep squeezing. This activates and strengthen your adductors (inner thigh/groin muscle). Everyone needs to do more adductor activation!

-Keeping everything tight, contracted and switched on, lower your chest to the ground then powerfully drive yourself back to the top. Try and push your hands off the floor.

Tom R answered Comment

20140520223318-jenna

These sound like excellent tips, thanks Tom - i'll give it a go this afternoon and report back!

20120919072623-nikos

Excellent tips Tom...and also don't forget to breath! 

Angel R encouraged this.

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Found some great exercises to build up that strength in your shoulders, chest, arms and abdominals that should really help you complete press ups challenge http://www.ehow.com/how_7688522_strength-do-pushups.html . Also, the training you are doing for the plank challenge will really help develop your 'core' strength for this challenge :-)

Emma M answered Comment

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I find it easier sometimes than other times, and I think the difference is often the width of my arms - I think for each person, there really is an optimum width that your arms should be - vary from it too much and it makes it a lot tougher

Sports-iqgold Steve R answered Comment

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had never thought of plank to improve form, but it makes sense

Sports-iqgold Addz S answered Comment

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