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Push-up form help

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    Push-up form help

    Hello! I'm a woman in my 20s and I've been working out on and off for a few years now, and trying to make it stick this time with Darebee. I keep running into difficulties with push-ups: I simply can't get my chest to be close to the floor while simultaneously making sure my elbows don't flare out. I don't think this is a strength issue, I can't do this with knee push-ups either. For reference, even when I was at my most fit (doing difficulty 4 and 5 workouts), I couldn't get my chest to go all the way down. I've had people check my form and been told it's fine. How far down should I be going? I'm unsure if I can even do a full push-up or not because of this

    Hey there, welcome to the hive.

    You can look at that video it's a pretty good reference for the form part.

    Most likely you're issue come form a lack of strength, whether in your triceps and/or pecs. Or maybe in your shoulders, hard to pinpoint without a visual.

    So I would suggest you build up your strength with variations like wall push ups then progress to knee push ups once you're ready


      Maybe try doing it against a table. Like you say, tuck your elbows in and get your chest as close to the table edge as possible (even touching it slightly), and keep a straight body throughout. Once your body learns through that full range of motion it can start to build strength that is meaningful for a full push-up, which is my experience.

      Being able to hold your body all the way down to the floor and not dropping half way is more about your "eccentric strength" at the tricep. It's the kind of strength that's opposite to what we would normally think of when we hear the word "strength," so your triceps will need to be strong in some ways that are probably more complicated than you think.


        Another view from my side, to keep your elbows tucked, you need a goood amount of back strength, cause you have to pull your shoulders (scapulas) "down" towards your feet... So exercises that open your chest by pullung your back together should help, too.


          How's your high plank? If your low back sags, core needs strengthening so you can focus on chest and arms.
          if form is good, need to gain some strength.
          try pushup to walls, low walls, tables or boxes.

          can you lie on your belly and achieve the bottom push up position? If it's tight or can't achieve it, there some restrictions in your shoulders, back and chest. Add some mobility and stretching to improve it.

          Good luck. X



            Thanks for all the information! I guess I assumed because I wasn't feeling any strain in my muscles, just a general inability to move (like when you try to touch your elbow to you nose) that it might be a problem with form rather than strength. My high plank form is good as far as I can tell, but if I lie on my belly I simply cannot lift my body to the bottom push up position. I think I'll switch to incline push ups for now and see how that goes.

            I'd like to be able to do a full push up. Any recommendations for specific Darebee workouts/programs/challenges to help me get there?


              The 50 Push-ups challenge was the one that I used when I tried to progress to the full push-ups. The way I did it was first picking a form of push-up, sticking with it for the whole month, then moving on to another month with a more challenging version until I got to the full push-ups. But it was a long time ago and there were other new push-up related challenges since then that I hadn't tried, so I couldn't say much about other things.