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Why should you do it



Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Continue reading

You may have heard that they are called “girl push-ups” (* wince *) or “modified push-ups”. Regardless of their title, knee pushups often get a bad rap – they’re too easy, they “cheat”, they put strain on your kneecaps. But the science seems to be different.

Knee pushups are a real upper body exercise. They are the perfect introduction to standard pushups or other difficult arm or shoulder exercises.

Find out how to perfect your shape and maximize the benefits of this simple home move.

Photo credit: Dima Bazak

This step is pretty easy. It’s like a push-up … but on your knees.

  1. Kneel on the floor.
  2. Extend your arms and place your hands shoulder width apart on the floor in front of you.
  3. While flexing your arms, tighten your abs and lower your torso until your chest touches the floor.
  4. Push your upper body back by straightening your arms. Slow and steady baby
  5. Rinse and repeat.

It’s important to focus on form rather than speed or number of repetitions.

A few more pro tips:

  • Keep your back straight – never rounded! – during the move.
  • Focus on keeping your muscles active even as you sink to the floor.
  • Tighten your abs and buttocks to train your core with push-ups.
  • Slide your weight into your whole hand, including your fingers, to avoid straining your wrist.
  • Don’t forget to breathe!
  • If you notice your form getting sloppy, take a break. You could hurt yourself if you do too much too soon. But you will build strength over time!

If you want to work the back of your arms (also known as the triceps), you can change the knee strike.

Photo credit: Dima Bazak

  1. Kneel on the floor.
  2. Put your arms straight in front of you.
  3. Tighten your abs as you flex your arms and lower your torso until your chest touches the floor and your elbows scrape the sides of your ribs.
  4. Push your upper body back by straightening your arms. Slow and steady baby
  5. Rinse and repeat.

For one thing, they’re simpler! Starting on your knees allows you to work on your shape and stability before moving on to toe push-ups.

A small 2011 study of 28 athletic men doing both traditional and modified push-ups found that knee push-ups are “an effective alternative” for people who cannot yet do traditional push-ups. It also showed that knee pushups might be more beneficial for people recovering from upper back or shoulder problems.

Recent research shows that knee push-ups and traditional push-ups activate the same upper body muscles: chest, shoulders, arms, and abs. The only real difference is that you are reducing your load.

It’s like the difference between a squat with just your body weight and a squat with dumbbells. # Steel buns

One of the researchers suggested that once you’ve become comfortable with 16 push-ups in a row, it is time to try a few toe pushups.

A little preparation before your workout can help prevent feeling weak in your knees after your push-ups.

  • Always do push-ups on a mat or rug instead of a bare floor.
  • Kneel on a folded towel or throw pillow to cushion your knees during push-ups.
  • Place your hands flat on the floor with your fingers slightly apart so that your front half can support half the weight. You shouldn’t just rely on your knees for support.
  • Check your form often. You want to distribute your weight evenly across your torso to avoid knee or wrist injuries.

If your knees still feel beaten after taking these precautions, you may need to take a break from knee pushups. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about strengthening exercises or stretching the muscles around your knees.

  • Knee pushups are an introduction to other upper body workouts. Once you have mastered the knee push-ups, try doing toe push-ups.
  • Knee pushups strengthen your chest, shoulders, arms, and abs. You can even get a glute workout if you tone your bum while doing pushups.
  • Knee pushups work the same muscles as toe pushups – they just reduce stress.
  • Kneel on a folded towel or pillow to avoid injuring your knees.
  • If you experience persistent knee pain after knee push-ups, stop doing them and talk to your doctor or physical therapist.


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