4 Exercises to Help You Get to a Push-Up

When it comes to push-ups we tend to see a massive array of form choices and/or habits that create problems left and right for the trainee. Whether it is the “lazy seal”(hips sagging to ground), the “head nodder”, or the “butt up wonder” the form is wrong and may be dangerous. Progressing into a full push-up can be difficult, but definitely not impossible. Here are a few exercises you can do to hold fantastic form while building that push-up strength.

Wait…we first need to take a look at what the push-up is and why we use it. Sure, everyone knows it as a staple chest and tri exercise, but people don’t necessarily think about the other forces playing a role on other muscle groups.

The position of the push-up also puts us into an extended position with gravity pulling our center of mass down. A proper push-up puts us into an anti-extensive position, engaging the anterior core and quads. How do you ensure you’re in the correct position?

Be able to check off the boxes:

-Straight line from head to toe. (Head, shoulders, hips, ankles in line)

-Ribcage pulled down over hips. (Think about tucking your tail under)

-Flex the quads

-Shoulders directly over the hands

-Elbows stay at or inside of a 45 degree angle from the body

Alright let’s get into the exercises to help you in the weight room.

Bench Rack Push-Up: This is a great option for beginners because the bar starts high and you can adjust the height little by little to increase the tension and your strength. If you have a smith machine in your gym that will do the trick too.

Incline Push-Up: I like to use a bench for this, but a plyo box or your stairs at home will do just fine.

Double Band Push-Up: Find some rack catches and wrap a band around both of them. Go into a push up position with the band around the belly button or hips.

Single Band Top Rack Push-Up: Loop a band through itself from the top of a rack. Wrap the band around the belly button or hips and knock out some push ups.


A huge mistake we see with push-ups is simply moving too fast. You need to move down slow and drive up fast with a pause at the top. In order to gain some adequate strength you need to perform quality reps.  10 solid reps are better than 50 half ass reps.


There is no secret to eventually getting to a full, unassisted push-up…just hard work and quality reps. If you want some of our help come on into LIFT, get some personal attention, and a custom program just for you! Click Here for scheduling!

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