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Learn Pushups – This Is How You Can Be Sure Of Doing It

Not in the mood for push ups? We clarify why women often have problems with pushups – and how you can do proper pushups.

Women and pushups are often not a love story. And at the same time, it is a cheek to refer to the much simpler variation of the classic exercise, in which the knees are placed on the floor, as “women’s pushups.” Let’s put an end to this! Because every woman can do pushups – and correct ones.

However, we have to admit beforehand: Many women indeed have difficulties with classic pushups. There are several reasons for this. We will clarify here why this is and, above all, what you can do about it.

How Are Push Ups Performed Correctly?

Before we get to the bottom of why women often find this supposedly simple exercise so difficult, take a look at what it should ideally look like:

  1. Put your hands on your shoulders with your index fingers pointing forward.
  2. Stand your feet so that your body is in a straight line from head to toe.
  3. Inhaling, bend your elbows and lower your body straight down the floor like aboard. (Don’t cheat by thrusting your head forward – your neck stays straight too.)
  4. Exhaling, press up again with the strength of your upper body.

Tip: pushup grips

Use pushup handles if you’re avoiding pushups because they hurt your wrists. This pushes you up from a grip position – many athletes find that more comfortable. If you don’t have any pushup grips on hand, you can also do the push ups on dumbbells or your fists. It is only important that your wrists do not bend.

What must never happen with a pushup: Your buttocks shoot up, or your hips sag. That’s the theory. In practice, however, these no-gos are often the rule. The compromise is often: “Put your knees down; you don’t have enough strength yet.” Is that true?


Which Muscles Are Used In Push Ups?

In principle, pushups are not particularly complex – but: They require strength and activity in many different areas of the body. When you push yourself up from the deep pushup position, the chest muscles (pectoralis) and your arms in particular work. Throughout the exercise, however, much more happens to other muscles if done correctly:

  • The rhomboids and trapezius pull the shoulder blades towards the spine.
  • The serratus anterior anchors the shoulder blades in the back.
  • Biceps and triceps stabilize the elbows.
  • The back extensors and abdominal muscles stabilize the trunk.
  • The iliopsoas tilts the pelvis slightly forward.
  • The gluteus stabilizes the hip.
  • The quadriceps straighten the knees.
  • The calf muscles dampen the recoil.

In other words: your whole body is under tension. The pushup is a full-body move! 

Tip: You can find out which exercises conjure up a strong, taut upper body.

Why Are Push Ups So Hard For Women?

As is often claimed, the real reason is not pure physical strength but the female anatomy. Compared to the male V-shape with broad shoulders and narrower hips, most women tend to have narrower shoulders and a wider pelvis.

This inverse relationship between hips and shoulders shifts the center of gravity further down in women – making it harder to maintain a straight line in the support position. The result: the pelvis is more likely to sag. Or you work specifically against it and therefore stretch your butt a little too high.

Do Women Have Other Disadvantages When It Comes To Pushups?

In fact, yes. Another obstacle to properly performing pushups is mobility in the shoulder girdle. The shoulder joint is the most flexible in the body, and women in particular often lack the necessary stability in the shoulder girdle. So there is another problem.

Of course, you can switch to the lighter version instead and put your knees on instead of your feet. But it is better: You train the supporting and auxiliary muscles so that you can soon master the pushup. We’ll tell you how!

Three Exercises That Will Improve Your Push Up Power

The good news is: you can always get better. With these simple additions to your workout, you can strengthen the parts of your body that are used during pushups:

Side Support

The side plank strengthens the shoulder girdle and promotes your body tension, as you keep the whole body under pressure in a straight line.

  • Place one hand under your shoulder and “stack” your feet on top of each other on the outer edge.
  • Your body forms a straight line from head to toe.
  • If this gets too intense for you, you can put your lower knee on the floor or put your feet in front of each other.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Dumbbell Flys

This exercise strengthens your upper back, giving you more stability in the pushup position.

  • Grab two light dumbbells and bend your knees slightly.
  • Lean forward slightly with your back straight.
  • Raise your arms straight to your sides and pull your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower it again.
  • 10-15 repetitions, three sets

Here you can find out which dumbbells are right for you and what to look out for when buying. And here’s what the four best dumbbell exercises to do at home are.

Triceps Extensions

This exercise strengthens the back of your arms without putting any strain on your shoulders. Having strong triceps will help you control the downward movement during pushups.

  • You lift a dumbbell with your arms extended above your head and hold it firmly with both hands in the shoulder-wide stance.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell behind you. Keep your elbows close to your head.
  • Exhaling, stretch your arms back to the starting position.
  • 10-15 repetitions, 3 sets

You can read what other exercises will make your arms firm and tight.

Pushups That You Should Try

Tight Push Ups Instead Of Wide Pushups

Ideally, your wrists are just below your shoulders when doing a pushup. The more they deviate outwards or inwards (diamond pushups), the harder it becomes. To protect your shoulder joint, you should keep your elbows close to your body when lowering.

Play With The Slope

Instead of supporting yourself on the floor, you can also raise your hands – on a bench, the edge of a table, or on the wall. That makes the pushups a lot easier. Warning: the other way around, it becomes more difficult with raised feet. Try it!

With a few stabilizing exercises for the shoulder girdle, you can push your pushup performance. But above all: Believe that you can do it! Forget terms like “women push ups.” They suggest to you that proper pushups are not feasible for women. That’s nonsense. You can do it!

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