Push-Up Progressions for Women

March 14, 2013 | Raymond Tucker

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Push-Ups are one of best exercises for developing chest strength. I especially recommend them for female athletes because they also tone the shoulders, triceps and core.

Beginner Variation: Kneeling Push-Ups

If this is your first time performing Push-Ups, start with this modified version until you gain strength. Perform two to three sets of as many repetitions as you can.

  • Kneel on a foam mat, lean forward, place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and cross your legs
  • Your arms should be locked out, palms flat on the ground, fingers straight ahead
  • Your upper body should be at a comfortable angle
  • Breath in to engage your core muscles and tighten your glutes
  • Bend your elbows, lower down until your chest touches the ground and push yourself back to the starting position
  • Keep your head in line with your torso
  • Your body should remain straight during the entire movement; do not bend at the waist

Regular Push-Ups

Once you have gained some strength in the Kneeling Push-Up, you are ready to perform Regular Push-Ups.  I recommend working up to two or three sets of 10 repetitions. (See Perform Perfect Push-Ups.)

  • Lie flat on the floor with your elbows bent, hands shoulder-width apart and even with your chest
  • Keep your palms flat on the ground and your fingers pointed straight ahead
  • Press yourself up into plank position with your toes on the ground and arms extended
  • Breath in to engage your core muscles and keep your glutes tight
  • Keep your head in line with your torso
  • Lower down until your chest touches the ground, then push back up into the starting position

Push-Ups on a Stability Ball

Start by trying to perform two to three sets of six repetitions and work up to 10 reps. (See also Three Physioball Push-Ups for Strength and Stability.)

  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball and lock your arms out
  • Your body should be at a good comfortable angle with your feet on the floor
  • Keep your head in line with your torso
  • Breath in to engage your core and tighten your glutes
  • Lower until your chest touches the ball, then push back up into the starting position
Topics: PUSH-UP
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
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