Floor Pushup - Exercise Database
Knocking out multiple pushups... from the ground... is a major strength milestone for most women.
It's a sign of serious strength. Something you should be very proud of when you get there.
Let's breakdown the pushup because there are many misconceptions and flat out bad training tips regarding the pushup.
I'm going to fix this for you.
How To Do The Floor Pushup
I'll talk about some training tips and aids in a minute... but first let's go through the pushup form step by step.
Start in a plank from your hands or the top of pushup plank.
Let's make this pretty. Keep your feet together.
Your shoulders are directly over your wrists... or better... slightly past your hands.
Your hands are shoulder width... maybe slightly wider.
Your fingers are pointed straight forward.
Finally... you're hips are in line with your spine and legs... or better... have your hips slightly higher. Look at the pictures.
To get ready for the pushup... you have to your arm muscles turned on. They can't be relaxed.
To turn your arm muscles on... twist your hands into the ground while keeping them pointed forward. The twist is generated by taking the heels of your hands and pulling them together.
Try to wrinkle the ground inbetween your hands.
This twist doesn't have to be intense. Just a slight twist... enough where you feel your arm muscles engaged.
Your elbow pits should be facing almost forward or all the way forward.
Pull your abs in so your core is engaged. This is NOT a crunch... your just engaged your deep transverse ab muscles.
Squeeze your legs slightly. Not a hard flex, but enough so they stay as one solid piece.
Lower down to the ground as one solid piece.
Three major keys to keep in mind here.
One... Keep your hips higher than you think. I'll tell you more about this below.
Two... When you get down to the ground your chest should be directly between your hands... or slightly infront of your hands.
Three... Your elbows do NOT go out to the side. Your elbows stay in... 45 degrees from your shoulder line or slightly closer.
Remember to keep your hands slightly twisted into the ground the entire time.
Here's where you can twist your hands into the ground a little more. This will help you push all the way back up.
Keep your body tight and moving as one solid piece.
Okay, not too many people talk about breathing... but during a pushup... your breath can make a huge difference.
- As you go down into the pushup breath in.
- At the bottom if you pause, you hold your breath just a little.
- As you come up... breath out with some force.
This breathing pattern will help you keep the correct muscles engaged and... this sounds strange... but as you come up... when you breath out you get more force from your body.
Give it a shot and let me know how this pushup breathing pattern helps.
Let's first look at some of the common mistakes then I'll show you the drills to help. Once you know these mistakes... you'll know what to look for.
The 4 Common Pushup Mistakes
Falling Back On Your Toes
A common way to make the pushup easier is to push your hips up into the sky and back so more weight comes over your toes. Now you don't have to push up as much of your bodyweight.
When this happens two parts of your form breakdown:
- Your hips go high and your body forms a tent position
- Your shoulders start to move behind your hands
Hips Sinking Down
Another really common form breakdown is when your hips sink down to the ground.
This happens because your legs will hit the ground first... giving you the impression you're at the bottom of the pushup when in fact you haven't not gone down much at all.
Your hips fall down too far when you:
- Disengage your legs
- Disengage your abs
- Relax your shoulders
Not Going Down Far
Finally... I always see women progressing too fast to floor pushups and when they go down... they only lower a couple inches... never completing a real rep.
If you're going to do pushups (or any exercise) focus hard on completing full range of motion reps.
Let's take a look at tips and drills so you can fix all of these issues.
Elbows Going Out To The Side
You lose a lot of power when you push your elbows out to the side. Plus, your wrists don't move in this direction... so you increase strain on your wrists.
Go read my post about knee pushups and practice keeping your elbows in. Elbows in is vital.
The Best Floor Pushup Tips And Drills
Master Elevated Pushups First
This is hard to do because so many women want to get down to the floor... but take your time with elevated pushups and really master these first.
If you can knock out 10 elevated pushups on a 12 inch box... all the way down to the box and up... then I would move you to floor pushups.
Go read my elevated pushup post and also my 7 step pushup progression post.
Grab a Foam Roller
This is such a great drill. If you use it consistently... you'll improve your pushups fast.
Get in the top of a pushup position.
Place a foam roller or yoga block directly under your thighs.
Go down into your pushup and focus hard on NOT letting your thighs hit the foam roller.
You're going to feel like your hips are WAY too high... but this is what I want you feeling.
You need to feel your other extreme. Most women let their hips sink way too low when they do floor pushups... and they get use to this feeling. So they don't even feel what it's like to have low hips.
The answer this is problem is... go to the other extreme. Get your hips high and start to feel this out.
Even using the foam roller drill... your hips won't get crazy high... but they will feel like they're crazy high.
As you use the foam roller more and more you'll be able to tell your body position throughout the entire pushup rep.
Make sure you focus hard on keeping your shoulders over or past your hands.
This will teach you to move your upper body as the primary mover... which it is with pushups.
Watch the video above and I show you how this works. Every client I've done this drill with has improved quickly.
Use Negatives And A Yoga Block
Negative reps are slow reps on the eccentric phase of the exercise. In the pushup... the eccentric phase is when you're going down to the ground.
The concentric phase is when you're pushing back up.
Get in the top of a pushup position as we talked about above.
Put a 3 to 5 inch yoga block directly between your hands... maybe slightly behind them.
Keep your body tight and as slow as you can... lower all the way down to the block.
When you hit the block the rep is done. You can put your knees on the ground and reset to the top of the pushup anyway you like. You don't have to push back up when doing negatives.
The key is keeping perfect form down to the yoga block and moving as slow as you can.
Shoot for 4 to 8 seconds... longer if possible.
Bonus Tip: Use Sliders
I didn't cover this tip in the video because most women don't have carpet sliders... but if you do...
Put your feet on the carpet sliders and start knocking out pushups.
Sliders force you to keep your weight over your hands. If you start to move your weight too much to your feet... you'll just slide backwards and fall out of the pushup.
It's a great tip most women don't know about.
Practice... Practice... Practice Your Floor Pushups
Have patience and practice.
If you focus on form and taking your time... you'll accomplish your first floor pushup much faster compared to rushing.
Go through my progressions...
- Use knee pushups to practice keeping your elbows in...
- Use elevated pushups to help you perfect your form...
- Consistently do negative reps to get stronger faster...
And stay with it and use all these tips in workouts... you will get your first floor pushup much faster than you think.
Want To Progress Even Faster?
If you want to get stronger, faster you have to come train with me in Fit Women's Weekly LIVE (FWW LIVE).
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To find out if there are spots available... go to the pricing page . There will be a current number of members.
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