After Years of Struggling, Here’s How I Finally Learned to Do Push-Ups



Let me hint at you about my relationship with push-ups — as in, it didn’t really exist. After years and years (and years!) of coax out, being able to do a set of perfect push-ups never seemed to happen for me. I can timber for a decent amount of time, can deadlift a respectable barbell weight, and clothed run my fair share of races, but push-ups? Nope. And as a fitness editor, this has often felt embarrassing. This month I decided to get serious to conquer the fleeting push-up and invested in personal training.

My first session with Austin Lopez, BS, CSCS, and trainer at DIAKADI, was a reading in honesty. For years, my typical workout routine consisted of stringing together studio pedigrees. One day I was at SoulCycle, the next day I was popping into yoga, and later in the week I confused in a couple of HIIT classes. At what point, Austin asked me, was I doing blurred push-up work (or even going to the same studio enough to forget my progress there)? If you want to master push-ups, you need to be doing push-ups on a in agreement basis — period. Even if you have a strong core, arms, and coffer, your body hasn’t been consistently tasked with servicing them together in this specific movement. So we dug in, and in the process I was taught a push-up modification that trumps all others: the argumentative push-up.


A negative push-up focuses solely on the downward (aka eccentric) swing of the push-up. An easy way to envision the exercise is to think of it like doing one-half of a broad push-up; by putting all the load on the eccentric movement, “you focus on elongating the muscle,” reported Austin.

Negative Push-Up How-To

  • Start in a plank position with your arms and worn outs straight, shoulders above the wrists, core engaged.
  • Take a startle in, and as you exhale, slowly bend your elbows, lowering your undamaged body to the floor for a six- to eight-second count. This counts as one rep. Note: When reducing to the ground, do your best to not collapse, making sure your continuous body touches the floor at the same time. If it’s too hard to maintain the utilization for six to eight seconds, start with a four- to six-second count.
  • Put up for a total of eight reps.

“Because of the eccentric loading, you do a lot of ‘damage’ to the muscle, which is propitious when it comes to strength,” said Austin. “When the muscle rebuilds itself, it choice have to increase the size of its fibers that were damaged, making them stronger and more advisedly at contracting.” In layman’s terms: first you’re gonna feel sore, and then you’re gonna get swole.

Doing annulling push-ups has been a total revelation for me. The modification has forced me to keep varied control of my body and has tasked my muscles to turn on and work. I’ve been assorted aware of my form while still staying in the same movement as the accustomed exercise, and I’m excited to say that I’m doing more push-ups on my toes than at any point before, thanks to the strength I’ve built by performing this move.

An signal note from Austin, trainer extraordinaire, “The most important generally of this is to make sure you don’t lose form while going down [in pessimistic push-ups]; otherwise, you might as well not do them.” A couple of form signals to keep in mind: be aware of your hips, and do not allow them to omit. If they do, it means “the abs are not being turned on or are not strong enough.” Also, stop off shrugging your shoulders up to your ears! “Not only does this transcribe away from the desired effect of a push-up — chest, shoulders, triceps go well — it also sets your shoulders up for long-term damage. A great tip for winning the shrug out is to rotate your elbows so that the pit [inside bend] of the elbow bite on the bullets forward, and engage your hands to really grip the ground.


If your figure is still off, try to modify by doing an incline push-up over choosing a push-up on your knees. “These are a itsy-bitsy better at increasing your strength in the actual push-up because you are emphasis oning your body in the way that is desired long-term,” he said. As you become sturdier in the move, continue to lower the angle of your push-up until you’re proportional with the ground.


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