Push-ups: Don’t Be Afraid of Them!

Push-Ups: Give them a Try!


If I want to get a reaction in my fitness class I can have participants drop and do push-ups. It’s probably one of the top three most dreaded exercises (post below what you think the other two might be). But it’s one of the most beneficial because it targets a wide range of muscles throughout the body. While men will do them more willingly as a display of their manliness, I can preach about the benefits till I’m blue in the face and most of the women simply won’t embrace them. It’s too hard.

It’s true that women are disadvantaged when it comes to push-ups because of less muscle mass in the upper body and a greater distribution of weight in the lower body. If any men reading this want to see what it feels like, place a weight on your lower body while performing a push-up.



Push-ups are good because it’s a simple exercise where you get a lot for little time, effort and without needing equipment.

It strengthens your core, which is important for doing all exercise and most daily activities. It builds muscle in the shoulders, triceps and chest. Yes, it can help you have a beautiful chest, which is not only desirable for men. I maintain that a good bra and consistent regimen of push-ups have kept me looking younger.

Now that I’ve convinced you to master the push-up take baby steps. You can start by strengthening your core by holding a plank with the knees on the ground. Then work up to a plank position one the toes. Strengthening your mid section will help keep that stiff position you’ll need to maintain without letting your hips sag thus putting dangerous pressure on your lower spine. Add them to your workout routine three or four times a week.

  • The next step is to take your strong core and do a vertical push-up against the wall or allow your chest and arms to accommodate more weight by doing it at a slant on a counter.
  • Once you are able to maintain your plank form and perform three sets of 10 or 20 you can progress to the floor.
  • Once again you can start on your knees and work up to doing them on your toes.
  • Try doing two or three set of them every other day and you will see your strength increase.

Here’s what you should know about performing a stellar push-up.

Keep core engaged and avoid letting the pelvis tilt forward.

-Place hands wide and just below the shoulders for more support or bring your hands in closer to the body, while still keeping hand just below shoulders. This will challenge the chest and back of the arms more.

-Wider feet placement also gives more support while bringing the feet together make a greater challenge.

-Your goal is to lower your chest all the way to the floor and then press up to fully extended the arms for it to count as a full push-up.

As a female I was very excited when I was first able to perform push-ups. Like everything it just took consistency and allowing my muscles to build the strength. Now the challenge is to do variations and incorporate more muscle.

Some I like are:

-One legged push-ups putting more weight on the upper body.

-Spiderman push-ups where after pressing to a push-up you bring the right knee toward the right elbow making more work for the core and the oblique muscles.

-An eccentric push up where you lower slowly and rise normally putting the muscles under tension longer and creating quicker change

-Push-up with hands on a Stability Ball creating a balance change for your core.

If you have little time for exercise try inserting a few repetitions of push-ups in between brushing your teeth and coffee and maybe again between work and dinner two or three times a week. Notice the difference in your strength and body after several weeks. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. 

Remember ladies, you too can be proud of a strong firm chest.

The Best Damn Push-up: https://www.t-nation.com/training/best-damn-push-ups-article-period


Davida Wright Galvin

About Davida Wright Galvin

Davida is a fitness professional and former award winning health and science television reporter. As a mother and wife she juggles the daily challenges of raising three children, working and staying active. She likes to make fitness fun and helping people find joy in exercise so we can cure the obesity epidemic in our country. --------------------- UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, BACHELOR OF ARTS, Journalism; Certifications (Present and Past): AFAA Group Training, BodyPump, Zumba, Balletone, SCW Personal Training Certification, Turbo Kickboxing, YMCA Personal Training Certification, Vegas Stiletto Fitness, Reebok Core Board Training Certification, CPR/AED & Infant CPR; YMCA Fitness Instructor Certification -------------------- If you’re in the Denver area find her class or fitness events at www.withDavida.com. Have fun, feel fit #withDavida!
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