Do you struggle trying to reach 10 push ups?
Do your shoulders start to ache, or your upper arms run out of strength?
Maybe your wrists are the problem.
If you struggle to reach 10 push ups using proper form then read on as I will show you 8 ways to improve your push ups.
As we get older our bodies are not as strong as we think they should be.
There are so many factors as to why this is, but being able to identify your weak points means you can work on improving them.
I feel the weakness in my wrists as soon as I get into my starting position - that is the high plank position.
My left wrist is not as strong as my right, probably from all my days playing tennis and squash when I was younger.
Again it's my left side with the soreness.
Sometimes I just can't seem to click my shoulder into place.
I really need to warm up my shoulders up for at least 5 minutes before they start to loosen up.
Usually I am cooked after reaching 10- 12 push ups.
It's not that I can't keep going but my form gets worse with every push up.
I would like to easily do 15, then 20 and so on
Instead of continuing to do push ups with bad form I think it makes sense to do exercises that will help improve my technique.
The following exercises all help strengthen the muscles in the upper body and core.
Incline push ups are a great way to start building strength and flexibility into your shoulders and arms.
You can start off using the bench in your kitchen.
Place your hands on the edge of the kitchen bench, take a step backwards so your body is at an angle.
Keeping your back straight, lower your body into the bench as you would a normal push up
If that is too easy, try lowering the angle.
I use the coffee table in my lounge room and an adjustable stepper for the garage.
Knee push ups are the same as normal push ups except you perform the exercise kneeling down on your knees.
Normally I would perform as many push ups as I can and then I finish off the rest of the workout on my knees.
Performing planks will help strengthen the muscles in your torso.
This will enable you to keep your body in a straight line as you lower and raise yourself through the push up.
Hold a plank position for 30-60 seconds and do this 3 -5 times.
Do this for a minimum of 7 days.
If you need to you can do this on every second day until you build up your strenth.
High planks are simply the starting position for your push ups.
Make sure your elbows are locked out - your arms should be dead straight.
Hold the position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat for 3-5 times.
Do this for 7 days.
This exercise is the ultimate trainer to improve your push ups.
Once I started doing this, I quickly improved my strength and stamina.
I usually do 20 reps.
One rep is -
starting position > high plank position>lower your left arm>lower your right arm =
Remember at the start of this article I said my wrists were weak?
I use a simple hand strengthener throughout the day to help strengthen my wrists.
I leave it on my bench at work and whenever I get the chance, I squeeze out 15-20 reps on each hand.
Most days I squeeze out 5- 10 sets.
Another piece of equipment you could use is push up stands / push up bars.
To use push up bars, place the handles in line with your shoulders, grip the handles and push yourself up as a normal push up.
It is very similar to performing push ups using dumbbells or kettlebells to place your hands on.
Push up bars come in a few different shapes and sizes.
I prefer either the style shown in the image above or the flat bottom style you can find online.
You might benefit from the Power Press Push Up System which is a total push up and workout system.
You get a color coded board where each color targets specific muscles.
All you need to do is place the push up bars into the designated "color", and either do your push ups or you can workout following the instructional DVD's.
It's a top system if you want to really take your push ups to the next level.
It's sturdy - ideal for heavy people,
It's durable - use it on carpet to vinyl to floorboards without slipping
It's comfortable for your hands and wrists and good to know your hands are in the same position every time you do your push ups.
Take a look at the video below for a sample workout.