You’re not alone – a lot of people can’t do push-ups on their toes. And while doing them on your knees works fine too, being able to get up on your toes is definitely a confidence booster. Plus, it makes this exercise even more effective. Follow this guide and you’ll be off your training wheels in no time!
Complementary strength exercises
The two parts of your body working the hardest during push-ups are your arms and your core, so naturally these are the areas you need to strengthen in order to take your push-ups to the next level.
Starting off with your core, a great exercise to do is plank – especially handstand hold plank. It’s just like a regular plank, but with your arms extended out straight so that you’re resting on the palms of your hands. Stay in this position for as long you can and repeat three times.
All exercises that engage your core, shoulders, back and arms are great to complement your planks with. Check out our workout app Seven for premade bodyweight workouts (the Plank Pirate workout is perfect for improving your push-ups!), or create your own custom workout focusing on these areas.
Another way to help transition your push-ups is by gradually scaling your movements through partial repetitions. Place a low bench or ball under your chest, and use this as support to do half push-ups on your toes. As you start to get stronger, replace the item with something even lower, until you’re ready to do a full push-up.
For most people, the hardest part about doing a push-up is pushing yourself back up. So to get started, skip that step and focus on negative repetitions instead. Stand in the regular toe push-up start position, and let it take 4-6 seconds to slowly lower your body to the ground. Remember to engage your muscles around your shoulders, arms and core. Instead of pushing yourself back up, just go back to the start position and repeat. This is a great way to strengthen your arm muscles to eventually be able to do complete push-ups.
Or, if you prepare to do it the other way around, you could also start from the end position and only lift yourself up. Try to not arch your back as this could cause damage and pain. To help avoid this, squeeze your butt muscles as hard as you can during the whole exercise.
And remember, doing 5 proper push-ups is always better, safer and more effective than 10 sloppy ones. Technique over quantity!