Push Ups for Beginners

push ups for beginners

Push ups for beginners include more than your standard kneeling push ups. (I refuse to call them “girl” pushups). Push ups, for women, have been relegated to the same status as pull ups for women. The idea is that since women aren’t so strong in the upper body anyway (and hey you don’t want to get big bulky arms–now do you?) why bother with too much targeted upper body work? Just stick with those 5lb pink dumbbells to get your arms “toned”.

Sorry, but you can hear me laughing, right??? Cuz ya know, I got me some badass big and bulky arms!

woman in bikini flexing biceps

woman indoor bouldering

Strong arms come in very useful if you want to have fun!

If you would like some shape to your arms, shoulders, and back then push ups and pull ups are your go to body weight exercises. And if you want to see how to integrate pushups, pull ups, planks, squats, and other bodyweight exercises into a circuit, get the basic Body Weight Workout ebook (Its FREE!)

Click here to get started.

And try this for a more advanced version of bodyweight circuit training.

Why should you do push ups?

  • Your overall shoulder health will benefit
  • It will strengthen and build muscle in your chest, shoulders and arms
  • Push ups develop ab/core strength
  • Push ups are a great body weight exercise for interval training and circuits–you don’t need any equipment.
  • Learning how to do pushups teaches you to support your bodyweight and move the body as one coordinated unit.

Push ups for Beginners Tutorial

Make sure to work at the level you are at, and don’t strain your shoulders and neck. Warm up with some shoulder circles before you start.

Any push ups version you do, keep the following points in mind:

  1. Always brace your abs (like for a punch)
  2. Squeeze your glutes and keep your pelvis tucked slightly under.
  3. Screw your hands into the floor away from you (this will make sure you keep your shoulders locked)
  4. Whatever you do never ever let your lower back sag toward the floor!

These variations of push ups for beginners will work you right up to full pushups and beyond. On all of these variations you can always do a half push up until you are able to do a full push up with each variation.

Wall push aways

The most beginner variation. You are simply standing upright and pushing away from the wall. Make sure you are using your arms to push your body away as one piece.

Chair or incline push ups

The lower you go the harder it will be. It is easier if you can grasp the sides of a chair, but if you only have a table that will work as well.

Kneeling pushups

You know these ones, but don’t let yourself stop here!

Eccentric pushups

A great way to transition from incline push ups to a full push up. Start at the top and slooowly lower yourself down to the bottom. Come down to your knees, reset, and go for another rep. The key to building strength is to do these slowly.

Once you master all the push ups for beginners variations move on to regular push ups. You may only be able to do 1 or 2 at first. That’s okay, keep progressing. When you can do full push ups for 3 sets of 5-10 reps each, you can challenge yourself further by beginning to move your hands closer together. Eventually, you’ll be able to do diamond pushups with your hands directly below your face forming a diamond shape.

Another more challenging variation is to elevate your feet on a chair or bench. You can also wear a weighted vest, or a put a weighted child on your back.

Just for fun try handstand pushups.

And please tell me, you’ve thrown out your 5lb pink dumbbells? No wait, don’t– they are useful–as doorstops.

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