Struggling With Push-Ups? This Progression Workout Will Help You Master Them - Women's Health

Struggling With Push-Ups? This Progression Workout Will Help You Master Them

Love them or hate them, the push-up remains one of the most effective exercises.

by | Oct 13, 2021

Few exercises are as controversial as the push-up. For some, it’s a natural love affair, a chance to show off incredible form and explosive power. For others however, it’s a form of public humiliation. Unable to summon the strength to lower our bodies to the ground, we resort to our knees which, depending on the ground you’re working out on, can be another source of pain separate from the exercise entirely. Safe to say, you either love them or hate them. The fact remains though, that the push-up is an exercise that’s here to stay. 

The total body exercise is a favourite among trainers for good reason as it’s incredibly effective and efficient. But while it can seem demoralising to see those around you knock out rounds of full push ups or variations that require just one hand or a clap in between, physiology suggests there’s no reason why a push-up should be harder to master for women than it is for men. It’s good news, as with some proper training and form correction, you can master the push-up in no time. 

As Juice and Toya demonstrate, when it comes to push-ups, it’s important to progress in your training to ensure you’re approaching the exercise with correct form and a strong and stabilised core, shoulder girdle and glutes. Sharing a workout to their YouTube channel, the pair demonstrated a number of progressions that can be done to allow you to see noticeable improvements over time. Crucially though, they stress that the best way to get better at push-ups is to practice them, and Juice and Toya recommend doing the workout often throughout the week so as to build strength in the chest, triceps, shoulders and abs. 

The 10-minute workout involves eight exercises that are done for 40 seconds, before resting for 20 seconds. No modifications are required, as each exercise is a modified version of a push-up variation. “If you do this workout often enough, you’ll be able to do push-ups with no problem,” explains Juice. 

“Hopefully you can feel the nice little pump and activation of all those muscles that will engage and help you to become better at push-ups,” says Toya. “And if you found that some of the exercises were still a little bit too difficult, do as many reps as you can within that 40 seconds. That’s why we made the video; for you to keep practising, keep working at it every single week, every single day if you want to. And then over time you’ll notice that a lot of these variations will get easier, and you’ll be able to do push-ups more efficiently,” Juice says. 

The Warmup

Arm Circles 

Swing and Pull

Down-Dog and Plank

The Workout 

Narrow Push-up (elbows tight)

Wide Push-up

Eccentric Push-up (slow)

Tricep Push-up 

Blast-off Plank

Plank up-down

Arm Reach

Iso Hold (8 second hold/2 second rest)

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