T Nation

Developing Pushup Strength?

So my GF has been working out with me, and she’s getting really strong. Today we were doing sets of 3 and she was doing pushups. I noticed she wasn’t quite going all the way down, so I told her to start each set from the bottom instead of from the top.

She couldn’t do it this way, and i noticed it wasn’t her pressing muscles that were too weak, but her core.

What a good method of strengthening the core so she can progress on pushups?

  1. Do I have her just work on planks and try to build up to 1-2 minutes.

  2. Do I have her start with pushups with her hands on a bench and work down?

  3. Or do both of these options, (do her sets with hands elevated, and then finish off with a few planks for time)?

Thanks for the help ladies :slight_smile:

Perhaps weighted planks? I have a teammate (132 weight class) who can plank for a minute with 120lbs on her back.

Both I think but for sure do the push ups on a an incline (hands on a bench, step, counter, wall, bar of smith machine, whatever). Probably a bench will be about right. I bet she’ll be able to knock off 10 to 15 on the bench. In a few weeks she’ll be doing them on the floor. : ) That was my experience anyway. Other core stuff I was doing: squats, deadlifts, swiss ball crunch and prone jacknife which I HATE and WILL NEVER DO AGAIN! Well, maybe… I’m following The New Rules of Lifting for Women program.

Let us know how it goes!

Thanks for the input ladies.

Ya its funny, because she can do BW rows no problem. Unlike most men, she’s actually stronger on pulling exercises, hehe.

***Oh and I just got her the new rules of lifting.

Thanks again.

It takes a bit of time. The USMC just had us do more & more & more pushups. LOL… good training!

dankid, being a girl myself I know how frustrating it is to be able to do a proper pushup. I eventually develop enough strengths to do pushups from doing a lot of cobra position from yoga… It helps me a lot to develop my core muscles… Hope that helps?

I have my clients do “Push up Holds” and it really seems to work. I have them start in the top push up position (basically a plank with straight arms) and I have them hold that position for a count of 10 than slowly lower themselves to the floor and relax on the floor for 5 seconds.

Than they push them selves back up, to the starting position. They can do this in any fashion, even if they have to go to their knees. Than they hold for 9 seconds and slowly lower themselves down. Repeat and than 8,7,6…seconds at the top.

You could also call these negative pushups.

Key points:
*holding their own body weight up for an extended period
*focus on letting the chest hit the floor BEFORE the hips do on the lowering portion (at least for the first few reps) This is the difficult part!
*not many could do all 10 in the beginning but they worked up to it and they were than able to handle regular push ups with ease when you took the negative part away! Hope this helps.

G