I trained myself to do push-ups using the training program New Rules of Lifting for Women. It included planks - I can now hold a 90 second plank, but when I started I could barely hold it for 30 seconds - and pushups at an incline. I started pressing off a bar (I used a bench-press bar, and have also used the Smith Machine bar), and then moved it lower (to a bench) and finally to the floor.
I found the trick for me was to remember it is a PLANK, and to squeeze my butt. I can now do 8 in a row, but it will only go up from there. I can't get my nose to the floor yet, but I'm the closest I've ever been. I'll be working on perfecting that nose-to-the-floor over the next few weeks.
I've been working on my upper body strength for a while. Currently I bench press 50 pounds, which is "not quite" 80% of my body weight ;-) Actually it's quite a bit less. However I can do about 8-10 perfect pushups in a row, and after taking a break I can do a few more. So I'm confused by the advice to work up to 80% first and then do pushups.
I started a boot camp class at my gym about a month ago, and found it AGONIZING how often they worked in pushups! When I started I could do a total of 4 (regulation push-ups). Now I'm up to 30!!! It's amazing how much you can improve when you just keep at it, relentlessly! (having very mean trainers who don't cut you any slack helps too!)
I might be mistaken, but isn't pushups on the stability ball HARDER than floor pushups? Also, are there any suggestions for improving floor pushups. I can do about 8-10, at what my dad estimates to be just short of 90 degrees or perfect form.
I seem to be stuck in getting to perfect form, and any more than this number. =/
I found out when I started Boot Camp that in all my 32 years of living I have never done a proper push up. I still stuggle with them, but hopefully this will improve with time and training. Thank you for the advice.
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