Hi Hayley,

I want to be able to do pushups! My goal is to be able to do 10 with proper form.  Pushing up is not easy but doable, my problem is that when I lower down I quickly break form through the middle and can either flop down belly first or push back up the couple of inches I lowered. I have tried doing a modified one where you bend from the knees with your ankles up and crossed – it’s easier to do but it hurts my knees.  Do you have any tips for how to get better at this?


Pushups, one of my favourite exercises that I make my clients (and myself) do daily.  But yes, they are hard and many women battle with their ability to do a pushup with proper form.

As women, our upper body strength compared to our male counterpart is weak and unlike men we carry a lot of our body’s weight in our hips.  So, when we are in a pushup position our little arms have to support all of that weight we carry in our thighs and hips. 

Here are a few tips on what to do to work towards your goal of 10 pushups:

1 – Do them from your knees.  There is nothing shameful about doing pushups from your knees and coming down onto your knees lightens the load on your arms.  It is just like picking up heavy dumbbells and trying to do bicep curls but they are too heavy to lift so you grab lighter ones.  Going to your knees for a pushup is just like grabbing lighter dumbbells.

2 – Do your pushups slightly inclined, positioning your hands on a bench with your feet on the floor.  This also helps to lighten the load as well on your arms but it is a slight progression from doing the pushups from your knees.

3 – Do other exercises that strength the muscles that you need for pushups.  Dumbbell chest presses, shoulder presses, triceps extensions and bridging/planking will all help strengthen your upper body muscles that you use when doing pushups.

4 – Try to lighten the load you are carrying on your hips and thighs.  If you are apple or pear shaped work on trying to up your cardio, cut down your sugars and burn away extra fat that is adding weight to your pushups.

Once you can do one pushup properly then do 10 sets of 1 pushup.  Once you can do 2 pushups then do 5 sets of 2, and then 3 sets of 3, 3 sets of 5, 2 sets of 5 and then before you know it you can do 10!

Attached - Heidi Klum leaving the gym with her bodyguard boyfriend.