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New to Forum - help with Push Ups

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  • New to Forum - help with Push Ups

    Hi. I'm new to the forums though I have been lurking for a while. I have just posted in Meet & Greet with my back story, but very briefly I have had a long period of illness due to EDS type 3 aka HMS (hypermobility syndrome) and my fitness has got very low. Primal has turned that around and I am now getting fit again. But I am coming from a point where my upper body strength particularly is very low and my joints are still quite susceptible from having got so immobile due to my HMS.

    I am now on the up and feel ready for push-ups. I have been reading about them in Mark's articles and watched the videos and yesterday I tried the first progression (standing against a door). I can easily do 25-30 of those and my body is nice and straight - no cheating. So I figured I should try the next step - knee push ups. But I can't do a single one.

    So any tips? Do I need to keep doing the ones against the wall for a lot longer before I move onto the next step? Or do I just need to keep trying until I can do one? Would some technique tips help?

    I do astanga yoga so I am regularly doing planks etc.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    try a step in between the wall pushups and the kneeling pushups. you can do them with your hands on a table or desk, then move down to a bench, then get down on the floor and try the kneeling ones. go slow and watch your form so you are engaging as many muscles as possible. once you get to 30-35 reps at an incline, then move up to the next level.


    • #3
      Personally I find that knee push ups are not a great idea. Itís difficult to perform a mechanically good pushup from the knees (hard to maintain trunk position and load the elbow correctly). You also don't have to work as hard to stabilize your core on your knees. You're better off doing fully extended inclined push-ups. Start with wall push-ups. When you've mastered those, lower the incline down to counter push-ups. From there keep lowering the incline using boxes, steps, chairs, etc. Over time you'll work your way down to full extended push-ups on the floor.

      Here's what an inclined push-up looks like:
      Incline Push-up


      • #4
        I had luck with negative reps. I found that taking the position of doing regular pushups and slowly lowering myself down to the floor, then putting in an effort before giving up eventually brought it to the point where I can again do regular pushups. Probably bench press was some help too.


        • #5
          Thanks everyone.

          I just tried some wall press-ups again and found it much harder today (I got to 25 but that was as far as I could go) so maybe I was too close to the wall yesterday and making it too easy.

          I'll try the ideas about incline push-ups, and gradually getting lower. If I can avoid the knee stage it will probably be a good thing to be honest as my left knee is pretty dodgy.


          • #6

            Great pushup progressions and a good bodywieght program


            • #7
              If you have a set of stairs in your house that's the easiest, no equipment way of doing the progression. You start with the highest stair you can reach and then move your way down.
              Rebooted Body -- Ancestral Health + Modern Psychology | The Rebooted Body Podcast


              • #8
                Stairs sounds like a great idea - thanks!


                • #9
                  +100 on the suggestion to do incline pushups. Due to shoulder issues right now I have to use these as well. My trainer won't allow me to do pushups on my knees for, in his experience/opinion, it is more challenging to go from knee pushups to regular ones and there are people are don't ever make that transition.


                  • #10
                    I will probally never will be able to do a regular push-up. I do body weight incline push-ups on strapes. It is the best I can do. Sometimes I do them on benches the lower I go the more unstable I become. I have the feeling that my elbow will break.


                    • #11
                      Stairs sounds like a great idea - thanks!


                      • #12
                        Just a quick update - I have found the stairs and incline advice really helpful. I found I could do 10 against the kitchen worktop so started working on improving that. I'm in the kitchen a lot so I can just do them whenever the mood takes me, which is very handy. Am up to 15 now so an improvement already. I also do some on the stairs and have spotted lots of other, sturdy, lower surfaces around the house and garden that I can look to progressing too when the worktop gets too easy as well. Thanks for the help!

                        We have ordered a pull up bar now! If anyone had told me a few months ago that I would be doing side planks, push ups, sprints and ordering a pull up bar I'd have looked at them like they were crazy. At that point my goal was to stay out of a wheel chair. This has all been incredibly empowering.

                        ETA I just managed 18 against the worktop - so more progress than I had realised.
                        Last edited by freerangepiglings; 04-16-2013, 08:46 AM.