Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why Your Push-Up’s Aren’t Making You Stronger

The push-up is perhaps one of the most convenient and effective exercises you can do. It’s an upper body exercise that can be performed just about anywhere. With that said, it can be difficult to perfect and often times, people will often require modifications to help them at first.

For those of you who need to make a push up a little easier in the beginning, do yourself a favor…

Take your knees off the floor.

Plain and simple, these will not help you perform an actual push-up.

By using this modification to make push-ups easier to perform, you’re only making it easier to continue doing push-ups with your knees on the floor. Wondering why? Well, that’s because you aren’t using that many of the muscles that typically are engaged when performing a proper push-up.

“What’s a proper push-up?” you ask.

The proper push-up should look something like this:

Your feet must be together, your glutes should be squeezing and your back should remain flat, no dips or bends. Your entire body will essentially be working in unison.

Your body should be moving in a straight line, your elbows should be at an approximate 45-degree angle. To engage your chest, your elbows are going to bend outwards and you’ll bring your chest down towards the floor.

Essentially, a push up is a moving plank of sorts. When done correctly you’ll be using, and subsequently training/strengthening your chest, arms, back and core. As you can see above, the entire body is incorporated in the movement, everything is moving.

Using your knees to do a push-up.

If you’re using your knees to assist in your push-up, you’re basically completely removing your legs from the equation entirely. It’s harder to squeeze your glutes and you don’t get your back into it at all. Furthermore, when you’re doing a push-up from your knees, you’re also putting unnecessary stress on your wrist, elbows and shoulders. This could potentially lead to injury.

What’s actually preventing you from doing a push-up?

A lot of people have difficulty performing a proper push-up, but that doesn’t always mean that they lack the upper body strength. That obviously plays a part, however, what’s normally lacking and ultimately limiting you from doing it the right way is the necessary core strength. Another big factor is improper movement.

Constantly executing push-ups with your knees on the ground can and will do more harm than good.

So what do you do if you really can’t do a full push-up?

Instead of modifying the push-up to the point incline push upwhere you could be potentially causing injury, modify it so that your entire body is stabilized and working together.

So if you can’t do a push-up and you shouldn’t use your knees for support, what can you do? You can do an incline push-up. You could use a bench or even your couch. If you’re using the bar on the smith machine, you can lower it as you see fit, until the point where you’re confident enough that you can do an actual push-up from the floor. Unlike the knee push-ups, an incline push-up with allow you to engage your core and maintain a neutral back.

Like a pillar in a building, your core is the primary source of your strength. Without a pillar holding the weight of the ceiling, you should expect the ceiling to come tumbling down. Without the necessary core strength to do a push-up, you can’t expect to be able to maintain a proper push-up position.


Training and strengthening your muscles to perform a proper push-up can take time. There aren’t any shortcuts, you have to incorporate every muscle a push-up would normally incorporate. Do yourself a favor and remove the “knee push-up” from your routine.



If you had trouble performing a proper push-up, comment below tell us how you overcame it!

from Official iLoveKickboxing Blog

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