One Secret To Better Push Ups

baby push up

 

Why is it that boomer women want to do push ups but can hardly complete 2 good ones?

Okay, maybe you’re one of the few that can knock off 7 – you go girl.

But why do push ups anyway?

First, let’s look at 5 challenges women over 50 face when dreaming about pushups.

 

 

 

Weak Wrists

Holding your weight on your hands and wrists is no picnic for women. This position just downright kills your wrists. If it’s not your wrists bearing the weight, it’s your elbows or hands.  None of these are good.

Suboptimal Core Stability

Stability is the ability to hold onto yourself. Kind of like being a passenger in a car. You’d be flopping all over the place if you didn’t naturally hold onto yourself when the driver swerves or makes wide turns. Holding onto yourself and the weight of your body while off the ground though is a whole different story.

Dive Bombs with your Head

It seems that leading with your forehead will get you there quicker. It will, in bad form, and your push up attempt will fail because most likely you’ll leave your butt behind (fun pun). It won’t be a push up but a head dive putting lots of strain on your neck.

Shortage of Upper Body Strength

Many women admit lack of upper body strength.  If you can hold yourself up into a plank position you’re at a good start in just gaining core strength. If the full plank bothers your wrists another option is a forearm plank.

Your Shoulders Bear the Brunt and It Shows

Lowering yourself towards the ground is one thing. The pull of gravity and the upper body strength that you lack reversing the direction back up is a bigger challenge. In an effort to push up you actually drive the forces into your vulnerable shoulder girdle. This is obvious bad form that results in placing yourself in an unguarded position.

Again why push ups?

Push ups are great to:

Once you begin to build strength from the inside out and develop some more power to your push you’ll begin to see the daily difference.

Getting up off the sofa or out of bed will become more effortless because you’ve added to your push strength.

Rearranging your furniture is doable alone. You’re confident that you can push your office desk, bureau, or kitchen table across the room.

Using that shovel and rake in the garden doesn’t seem as straining.

You’re able to carry your grocery bags without putting them down for a rest.

If you run out of gas, pushing your car to the service station is a snap. Okay, I’ve gone too far on that one.

But, you get the gist.

Here’s the one secret to do pushups better.

blue arrowTurn your head.

Instead of looking at the ground as you go down turn your head to one side.

Keep it there as you do the push ups.

Do 2 with head to the right. Repeat and turn to the other side to make it even.

There is a noticeable difference in using this technique.

First thing you notice is less strain at the base of your neck.

Secondly, because your eyes are not focused down you decrease the chance of head diving. The muscles in your neck are engaged. This gives the weight of the head a good feel for support.

Third, you may discover a desire to elongate out of the top of your head. Almost like a spiral effect with energy out your crown.

Your head actually feels lighter. Perhaps it is the distribution of its weight on a different plane that makes the difference.

Make a difference in your form with this modification.

Slowly build the amount you do.  Slow and steady wins.

Remember, as you set up to do push ups try them kneeling first.

It’s a whole lot better for you and you’ll get a great workout for sure!

Here’s a quick look at the secret:

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3 Comments

  • I love your approach! Thank you. Got any videos or books on a simple, basic, daily workout with weights or whatever you need to build/maintain strength? I walk, bike, dance, but don’t I need weight training? I like to play to workout; don’t want to go to the gym.

  • Lisa

    thank you Mary!
    I’ve sent you a private e-mail- but do keep your eyes peeled for some simple, sensible and practical workouts to keep you moving within the next 7-10 days!

  • jayati

    you rock

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