Push-ups are a great compound exercise to build bigger arms and pecs. But, let's be honest, learning how to do a push-up is NOT easy — it’s actually probably the hardest bodyweight exercise, alongside pull-ups. However, if you’re determined to master this movement then we’ve found the perfect workout hack that will help you achieve a full blown push-up — that’s right, we’re not even talking about knee push-ups.
Are push-ups even that good for you? They are. “The beauty of this move is that it can be performed anywhere, by anyone,” says Eddie Baruta, a certified personal trainer at Ultimate Performance. “It works the triceps, pectoral muscles and the shoulders. Plus, if you really concentrate on keeping your core tight throughout the move, it will also work your abdominal muscles and your entire core.”
What this method does is it slowly develops the upper body strength you need to complete a regular push-up, that you may not already have, or are struggling to build. It starts with a wall push-up and, overtime, helps you be able to slowly lower your body closer to the floor, eventually being able to do a regular floor push-up. Here’s what you need to do:
- At the gym, find a Smith machine (or squat rack) and set the bar to chest height. Do 10 push-ups against the bar.
- If you can do that, lower the bar two levels down. Once you can do 10 push-ups, lower the bar again.
- You want to keep slightly lowering the bar every time you achieve 10 push-ups till the bar is on its last level. Once you can complete 10 reps on that, then you should be ready to do a regular push-up on the floor.
Once you can do that, why not try it with a light dumbbell on your back from our pick of the best dumbbells for even more resistance?
You can also do this at home, but you will need a sturdy piece of furniture that you can lean on. If you do want to try it at home, start by doing your 10 push-ups on a wall, then move to something sturdy, maybe the arm of your sofa, a table or stairs, and perform 10 more reps. You then want to keep finding objects that are slightly lower than the one before to perform your 10 reps with. Perform your last set of 10 on the bottom step of your stairs. Once you can do that, you should be ready to take to the floor.