Personal training studio carlton

The Exercise All Personal Trainers Do

Push-ups I believe is the best upper body exercise one can do, but it's how you perform them that makes the difference.

If you want a big chest, healthy shoulders and a bullet proof core (that’s right, the push-up is essentially a dynamic plank), you should be reading on.

For the girls, I’m often told “I have weak arms’ or ‘my upper body needs strengthening’, if this sounds like you, read on.

The idea push-ups are merely a beginner's exercise should be a thing of the past. Volume, load and progression are some of the key factors responsible for muscle gain, and so you should maximise these when performing a push-up.

Unfortunately, most are not able to do a push-up properly or have never been shown how as it’s often regarded as a beginners exercise. Even if you think it is, the basics should be mastered first.

All members who train with us will attest that no-one is to perform a bench related press until they can perform 20 strict push-ups, just like no-one bicep curls until they can perform a strict chin-up.

In our Carlton gym, you master the basics first, then progress. 

Performing a push-up

Technique is everything when performing this exercise. Better form equals more stress on the chest, triceps and shoulders, rather than the joints.

  •     Start with arms shoulder-width apart and locked out

  •   To take the stress off your shoulder joints, keep your elbows tucked in. To help this, rotate your hands approximately 30-45 degrees outwards.

  • Lower your torso to the floor while keeping your back straight (use those abs and glutes, remember the plank?)

  • Pause at the bottom and hold for 1-2 seconds

  • Push back up

Pressed for more?

In order to build muscle and increase challenge, push-ups need to be progressive - with an ever-increasing rep range or heavy load.

Three ways of achieving this:

  1.  Adding weight plates to your back

  2. Wearing a weighted vest

  3. Raising your feet

 Crossover to the bench press

While it's fine to switch between push-ups and the bench, there's no reason why both shouldn't feature in your gym plan. When you're performing your push-ups, find the hand placement most comfortable. Have a friend measure the distance apart. When bench pressing, your hands should be this far apart.

If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Melbourne CBD to help get your push ups performed perfectly, contact us at

Mobility & Rehabilitation: Foam Rolling

So you’re new to the idea of self- myofascial release tools and using the best foam roller, myofascial release lacrosse ball, and many more self- release tools. This blog will show you how to use the foam roller to get into the routine of taking care of your body. Self- myofascial release techniques are easier than you think!

Good information in the mainstream on soft tissue modalities is quite low, the reasoning being is that most don’t understand it or don’t know how to apply it. For all the information out there that endorses it, there’s as much that opposes it. The scientific method is based on the test-retest method and in this case, that too is the best way to determine whether this modality works for you.

Based on experience with clients when applied properly and regularly in our Carlton gym, we believe it’s a winner!

What you see in most gyms and studios are people aimlessly rolling around in awkward positions, with a heavier focus on their IG feeds, rather than hunting for myofascial trigger points. It all comes down to application.

Does foam rolling help with back pain

Good movement and mobility comes from mastering T-spine bio-mechanics first. Foam rolling is ideal for improving this function. With most clients having previous muscle imbalances to one side and poor compensatory patterns. The foam roller relieves tension in the muscles while also lengthening them helping you not only to recover but gain flexibility.

The key is using combination patterns (flexion/rotation)/ (Extension/rotation) to get the most out of your T spine and juice up your rolling. Use various osculation techniques, range of motion and controlled rolling over the entire length of the muscle, or somewhere between those continuums. Avoid arching your back too much by keeping the trunk tight, hips on the ground and control your breathing.

Applying this for 3-5min a day, 5 days a week then retesting whether the trigger points/tightness is better, same or worse is the best way to determine whether this form of self-myofascial release is best suited to you.

Stay tuned as we will release how to videos demonstrating how to use the foam roller on our Instagram feeds and you-tube channels in the coming weeks.

If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Melbourne CBD to help get your health back on track, contact us at


Warning: Always check with your doctor before performing any physical activity, especially if you fall in one of these activities; pregnant, over 25 with risk of cardiovascular problems. Please be aware that the instruction presented herein does not substitute medical counselling.

1.       Perform exercises in a slow and controlled manner.

2.       Stop and rest if you feel dizzy or short of breath and hydrate yourself with water.