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 info@hamilton-fitness.com.