Push Ups 101: A Cheater’s Guide To Lousy Push Ups, 35+ Push Up Variations, And Fast & Effective Bodyweight Upper Body Workout

If you read yesterday’s post, then you’re already aware that I have a big challenge ahead of me. Over the next 4 months I have to master my ability to do pull ups and push ups. *Panic mode!*

panic mode


According to the plan, I have to be able to do 30+ push ups and 15 pull ups at the beginning of summer. Well… I’ve got quite a bit of work cut out for me because… *Okay, it’s really embarrassing*… right now, I can do a grand total of… DRUM ROLL… *please, don’t judge me!!!*… 2 pull ups and 10 *big girl and not girly!* push ups in a row. There!

Anyhow, I’m hopeful, because as they say, it can only get better from here on! *TA DA!* 

push ups for babies


So what are the benefits of push ups?

  • Improve posture
  • Upper body conditioning
  • Strengthen core
  • Increase metabolism = shed some extra weight
  • Can be done anywhere!
  • Oh, and a nice SEXY back & shoulders!!! *My top selling point! Haha!*

By the way, this is how you do a push up correctly!

how to do a push up


According to CrossFit Smyrna, here is “A Cheater’s Guide To Lousy Push Ups”:

‘Avoid each of these and you are nearly guaranteed an honest push-up.

1. Sagging: Dropping the belly in an attempt to hit, or reach bottom early
2. Piking: Sticking the butt up in the air. This is usually accompanying a rest (see resting, below).
3. Resting: Coming to a stop. This is usually tried at the top, often while piking, but may manifest as a collapse at the bottom.
4. Bouncing: This cheat is, exactly as the name implies, bouncing off the floor to rise to top again without effort. This is a big hit with fat guys.
5. Yogaing: With this cheat, the head and neck lead up followed by the chest then belly. It is a dynamic variant of sagging, but often performed as though it were a plus or artistic.
6. Reaching: Reaching’s most common form is with the head and neck. Some cheaters can extend their head and neck an extra six inches in an attempt to find bottom early and avoid the pain of a real push-up. Look for the nose a foot below the chest.
7. Speeding: The count should be a slow “one-two” up and “one-two” down unless doing timed efforts like the Tabata Interval. For reps, they have to be slow and controlled.
8. Shorting: This is the worst and most common cheat where the cheater typically doesn’t go all the way down. Not rising to the top is less common but still cheating.’

We can do it

My plan to success is to incorporate plank workouts in my routine and also Fast & Effective Bodyweight Upper Body workouts like this one:

Also I found a great Ultimate Push Up Guide: 35+ Push Up Exercises from The Art of Manliness. You should definitely check it out!

How many push ups can you do? How do you incorporate them in your workout?




Filed under Fitness, Health

32 responses to “Push Ups 101: A Cheater’s Guide To Lousy Push Ups, 35+ Push Up Variations, And Fast & Effective Bodyweight Upper Body Workout

  1. I just tested this morning to see how many I’m starting with…24 before I fell on my face haha. I love tricep push-ups though! I’ll be doing push-ups 3x a week and increasing the number in each set every week 🙂

  2. I’m in love with this post – especially the wrong ways to do push-ups! So, I can do push-ups so it should follow that I should be able to do pull-ups, right? Say yes. 🙂

  3. absgoldberg

    I was just saying on my blog this morning how it’s easy to phone in your pushups, doing them with good form is killer. Thanks for the reminder on what not to do, I can’t stand it when people short their pushups.

  4. Great post! I actually love push ups, the last time I counted, i could do 35 on my toes with no rest. I generally don’t like working upper body but pushups are my fav upper body workout move!

  5. I was so excited when I could do a push up! I think I am up to around 25 now!

  6. those pictures are hilarious!!

  7. If you can already do two correct push-ups you’re well on your way! Here are some tips that will definitely help you increase your total.

    *Start increasing your total volume like this, do two push ups rest until fully recovered 2 maybe 3 min repeat for 2 more push ups and rest again (Begin with 3 sets of 2 and the following week try to either add another set or another repetition)
    * Increase frequency of push-ups to 2-3 times a week
    *Focus on building strength in triceps/shoulders/pecs (Keep the repetitions low and place emphasis on increasing weight)

    Good luck, let me know if you ever need some more helpful tips!

  8. This is awesome and I really need to bite the bullet and do these!

  9. RainyWriter

    I have no idea how many I can do as I’ve never tried maxing on a single try. I do like incorporating them into my workouts though as they are excellent for core strength.

    And it’s great that you are trying to strengthen more … and form over quantity all the time!

    And … I use ‘and’ a lot …. and, that photo with the baby and the position notes are HILARIOUS (and good info too)!

  10. How far down are you going on your push ups? I’m just curious because I can do maybe 5 full push ups in a row but I don’t go down as far as my husband does. However, it’s better than before when I couldn’t do a modified push up on my knees to save my life. lol

  11. This is great! I have finally mastered push ups but I am AWFUL at pull ups. I use the assisted machine at the gym and fear the free pull up bar! Maybe I will take on your challenge myself!

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