The “girl push-up” is a variation on the classic push-up that is often used by those who are not yet strong enough to do proper push-ups. They’re much easier on the body and muscles, but are they as effective as the regular ones ?
Why You Might Do “Girl Push-Ups”
The name “girl push-ups” is, in itself, highly offensive and a total misnomer. Women who regularly train can easily strengthen their muscles to the point of doing regular push-ups. They were only called “girl push-ups” by people who mocked women for being weak. In this day and age, that notion has gone out the door !
So who might end up doing girl push-ups?
- Those lacking strength — If your arms, chest, or core can’t handle the strain of doing regular push-ups, doing them on your knees helps to reduce the load.
- Those recovering from injuries — Regular push-ups can be hard on the muscles worked, but the reduced load makes it easier to work out during recovery.
- Those with musculoskeletal problems — If you have weak wrists, shoulders, knees, or back, you’ll find that the lightened load of the push-ups on your knees is easier on your joints.
There are times when it’s advised to do push-ups on your knees, but is the exerciseas effective ?
Sadly, the answer is no.
While the form of the girl push-up allows you to do more work with less resistance,the truth is that this variation of the push-up is almost too easy for it to be considered a proper workout. Not only do you take the strain off your chest and arms, but you reduce the amount of work your core has to do. Push-ups are a great core workout, but doing this variation limits the exercise your abs and back muscles get. What was once an epic, full-body workout becomes something that only focuses on the arms and chest.
“Girl push-ups” are also pretty hard on your knees. Unless you’re doing push-ups on a Yoga mat or a thick pad, your knee joints are pressing against the floor. This can be painful, and it can actually lead to knee injuries if you’re not careful.
What’s the Alternative ?
If you can’t do a proper push-up (for one of the reasons listed above), there is an alternative to consider: Incline Push-Ups.
With Incline Push-Ups, you place your hands on a bench, chair, or box to do the push-up. Your head is elevated to the same angle as it would be with a girl push-up, but you maintain that full body tension and keep a proper load on your chest and arm muscles.
You can increase or decrease the incline according to your ability. If you are having a very hard time with regular push-ups, you can raise the incline to reduce the load on your muscles, transferring it to your legs. If you are close to doing proper push-ups, use a very short incline to increase the load on your chest and arms.
“Girl push-ups” should be like crunches: an exercise you no longer do. They’re far less effective than regular push-ups, and you’ll find that the alternative is a much better way to go !