You’re Probably Doing Push-Ups All Wrong, But Here’s How To Nail ‘Em

The brand you’re most likely wearing on your feet right now, Nike, has partnered up with PEDESTRIAN.TV to treat you all to a weekly wrap-up of the NikeWomen‘s newest original series, Margot vs Lily. We’ll be kicking back in our activewear, with a bag of natural, lightly-salted popcorn each week, watching the series and doing (or trying to do) the guided exercises you can find here, all in a bid to become fitter, stronger and generally better versions of ourselves. 

If you’ve been playing along at home, we’re up to episode five of Nike’s original series, Margot vs Lily – (the show follows the lives of two sisters living/working out in NYC) – and ‘Breakthroughs’ is this week’s ep. Margot starts to see some mad progress in the form of semi-defined biceps, and Lily makes a real life mate on a bus:

With breakthroughs on the brain, we had a chat to Nike master trainer Kirsty Godzo about push-ups and how to elevate your form to new, correct heights.
Push-ups can be tough. What are some tips you’d give to someone who has never attempted them? 
Focus on your form first! The biggest mistake is trying to go straight to your toes without graduating from your knees with perfect technique. Practice your pushups with a mirror nearby so you can check key technique points such as:
  • Hands just outside shoulder width.
  • Long flat back – no butt up in the air or hips sagging through.
  • Chin tucked and eye gaze at your fingertips.
  • Start by only lowering your chest to elbow height. Once you have the strength and confidence you can go deeper!
Practice nailing this on your knees then you can start to move up to your toes!

A photo posted by KIRSTY GODSO (@kirstygodso) on

What are the most common mistakes you see people make while doing push-ups? 
The most common mistake you will see is someone struggling to do a pushup on their toes rather than focusing on their form and working with their knees on the ground! 
In this case, it would be much more beneficial for the person to work with their knees on the ground and nail each rep with control and better form. Other common mistakes are incorrect hand positioning and very commonly you will see butts up in the air or heads dropping down towards the floor. This is where using a mirror in your practice can help and if you’re really committed you can practice with a stick on your back to make sure you’re staying perfectly straight down your back.

A photo posted by KIRSTY GODSO (@kirstygodso) on

What are some of the fitness benefits of push ups? What areas of the body do they work? 

Push-ups are an amazing upper body and core training exercise! If you want to maximise your ab work during this exercise, you need to really focus on keeping your back long and flat – as soon as your hips lift up or sag through you take the pressure out of the core and shift it into the back. They’ll also define your chest, back, arms and shoulders.

A photo posted by KIRSTY GODSO (@kirstygodso) on

The real question we want to ask here is… How many can you do?
Haha, a lot! I don’t usually count a max number of reps with my push-ups, though. Instead, I prefer to include a variety of push-ups into my training such as regular, tricep, crawl push-ups, alligator push-ups, ploy push-ups, superman push-ups and feet elevated push-ups.

A photo posted by KIRSTY GODSO (@kirstygodso) on

Do you have any key tips for beginners on how to build up stamina with push-ups? 
Additional upper body and core training will help you build up your push-up endurance, so try and include drills that work your chest and core alongside your push-up practice to get the best resuIts. It also helps to switch up the style of push ups you’re doing – try some of the ones listed above for fun. 

A photo posted by KIRSTY GODSO (@kirstygodso) on

Registrations for the NTC Tour close real soon (on March 6th), and if you’re looking for some extra motivation you can watch/work out to the latest Nike NinjaLily guided workout below:

Happy sweating’, folks.
Photo: Supplied.