Fit Tip: Can’t Do A Push-Up? Try This Beginner Trick

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Work your way up to a full push-up with this building-block exercise that will help you develop upper-body strength.

Push-ups against the wall are a great exercise for beginners, explains Michelle Lovitt,fitness expert and strength and conditioning coach for ASICS. 

“It’s a total-body move that builds strength in your chest, shoulders, and triceps — the key muscles involved in a regular, strict push-up.” 

Once you feel confident and stronger performing this modification, move to knee push-ups on a mat, and eventually work toward completing a full push-up with your legs extended. 

“Proper progression will lessen your likelihood of injury,” Lovitt says.

To do a wall push-up: Start standing, facing a wall, and extend your arms in front of you so your palms are flat against the wall at shoulder height. Take a small step back so that you’re on a slight diagonal. Bend your elbows, and bring your body toward the wall until your nose nearly touches it. (Keep your elbows close to your torso for an added tricep challenge.) Be sure your core is tight and your palms are still flat. Now push back to straighten your arms. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 10 reps, three-to-four times per week.

Photographed by Nathan Martin;

Illustrated by Zhang Qingyun.

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