Press ups (girls)

I have searched through these posts bit still cant seem to find any serious help, as a girl I am finding full press ups difficult, the rest of my fitness is absolutely fine but I just cant seem to get the transition from "girly" to normal press ups right. As I have my prnc in a couple of months I was looking for sensible suggestions on how to improve. I do attempt to increase how many I do each day. Thanks in advance.

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War Hero
Generally, the way to do it, is how you are doing it now.

Go for quality, not quantity initially, even if you are only managing two full press-ups every morning & two every night initially.

Increase, as you are, by adding one quality press-up every five or six days. If you hit your peak before reaching your target just spend another 5 days hitting that peak, then increase by one, and so on.

Press-ups are not a pass/fail element of PRNC but you need to get them cracked before you actually join.


Lantern Swinger
When doing 'girly' press ups make sure your knees are as far away from your chest a you can and lean forwards over your arms. Your bum should be forward of your knees so that you're lifting your full weight. Often you see girls with the behind too far back simply lifting thier upper body weight.

Practice these 3 times everyday with one days rest per week. Then progress as you get stronger.
If necessary, and noting the correct form advice provided, an interim step can be to lift one knee off the floor when doing the press-up. This will moderately increase the amount of weight you are pushing up.

edit - Push-up (on knees) is the example from, the best exercise bible on the interwebz.
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Lantern Swinger
If you can do 1or 2 full press ups, try doing them during the adverts when watching tv.

Every time an advert comes on do 1 press up. You'll soon improve.
I'm in the same boat. A good tip I picked up was to do negative push ups, in other words, put the emphasis on the declining part of the push up, even on the knees. This will really push your triceps much harder, especially if you try and do it as slowly as you can. Push up at a normal pace, then back down really slowly.

I can only do two good form full press ups myself at the mo, so have been doing resistance exercises on my chest/triceps/biceps and assisted pull ups to gain upper body strength. I've heard that once you can do 20 knee push ups in good form, you're ready to move on to proper full body ones. But I mix it up so that my workout isn't just two full press ups and thats it. I'm finding that doing 10 knee press ups, doing something else for 5 minutes then coming back to it, I'm able to do a couple of proper ones and then repeat the above. Give that a go :)

Also bear in mind your hand placement as this changes the muscle groups being used.
Good to know im not the only one :)

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Definitely not the only one! 3-4 years ago I wasn't able to lift myself off the floor, but started press ups on my knees and worked up to full press ups. I had a shoulder injury a year ago that set me back, but have got back to being able to do 10 full press ups. I can do 20 in two minutes by stopping and resting, but not at the consistant rate of the bleeps they use in the test. Like someone said, maybe just one knee or with your knees raised up on something (kind of easier version of decline pressup) to make it a bit harder but not quite as hard as a full press up. Mix it up with other upper body exercises too. Good luck - I'll be doing the same for the next three months :eek:)
Funny reading my post from not very long ago saying I could only do 2 full push ups.. I went on a week long fitness holiday in May and now I can confidently do 5 full press ups before my form starts to go a bit funky.. Doing classes helps as having other people to compete against really pushes you. Definitely mix it up too, it was a military style holiday run by ex military fellas, the ex Royal Marine had us doing xenophobic press ups, funniest thing I've ever done, kept us smiling but we must've done about 60 press-ups in total (Tabata training) without realising!
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War Hero
Book Reviewer
Can we stop calling them 'Girl Press Ups' please. They are not 'Girl Press Ups', they are 'Knee Assisted Pressups', as any PTI will tell you. There is no shame in doing them. They will develop your musculature. 2 or 3 of them done will do you more good than just hanging in the upper position of a 'normal' pressup waiting to gain the strength to do a rep, which gains you nothing. During circuits they can be a useful way to get Chest muscles warm. Try alternating 5 full press-ups and then 5 Knee Assisted. I keep my knees bent so feet are off floor, and the whole thing is like a rocking motion. If your upper body strength is poor try some pull ups with the enormous rubber bands they keep in functional suites for precisely that purpose (ask PTI). Or get the PTI to make you a weights programme to build some muscle bulk. Or try press ups with your feet on a Swiss Ball to really engage your core!! But all Phys is good - remember I don't want my troops to be fit for fitness tests, I want my troops to be fit to have a healthy life, look good in the bedroom and not have strokes and Diabetes. If you do that then passing military fitness tests will drop out of the bottom of all that. And another thing....get some decent trainers!!!! From a shop that does video gait analysis. Good luck with basic, I liked it so much I did it twice!!!!

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