Join Tribesports today – it's free!

Tribesports is the home of sportspeople and sports challenges.
Join the fun and start sharing your sports activities with people like you.

Girly Push Up - not for girls


Posted by Cags R under Fitness & Training on 18 November 2012 at 12:00 AM

Push ups (or press ups to us Brits!) are one of the staple exercises in the fitness world; they workout your arms, back and core muscles - so why is it so many women either can't or won't Beginner Strength Workout do push ups?

Earlier this week we addressed the myth that women shouldn't lift heavy weights with an awesome guest article from Nia Shanks. Within the workout she wrote for us, there are 4 sets of 5 push ups written in the description - upon seeing this, many women would be put off - but why?

One of the Tribesports blog partners Hui G summarises very accurately why many women shy away from push ups and other resistance weight training:

I was raised in a family where Mum would tell me not to do push ups because it would "make my shoulders too broad". I grew up through the 90s, when waif-life Kate Moss was the pin-up girl for beauty everywhere, when it was the age of the supermodels, all delicate, reed-like, gentle ladies. I studied in an all-girls school, where being too physically strong gave you the lesbian label.

Luckily, times are changing. Strong women are no longer seen as manly, just strong. 

That's why we're on a mission to get girls to progress from 'Girly' push ups to full push ups!

Girly Push up imageWhat is a 'Girly' push up?

'Girly' push ups - which are technically called modified push ups - are push ups from your knees rather than your toes. This makes it easier as the load is smaller than if you work with a full bodyweight push up. 

These are really ideal for total beginners who need to build up their upper body strength - that's right, even boys and men can benefit from the notorious 'Girly' push up!

But one can't get trapped in the mind set that 'I can only do girly push ups' and thus never progress up to full bodyweight push ups.

The picture on the right is from the Challenge '100 girly push ups' - if you're able to do 100 then it's definitely time to step up into the full push ups, fewer reps with higher resistance will make you stronger!

Check out this Press Up Progression Plan to help you move on from 'girly' push ups and on to a stronger core and upper body, take the Challenge to complete your first 10 push ups now!

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.



    I've been wondering about press ups. I can keep good form for part of a full press up but the closer I get to the floor the more chance there is of colapsing out of it. Is it better to do girly press ups and get closer to the floor or carry on with full press ups but only going half way?

    Caroline S encouraged this.


    "Modified press-ups" :)) I always try to start with full press-ups and then, as I tire & lose form, revert to the modifed version.

    Caroline S and Amanda M encouraged this.


    Definitely agree that form trumps quantity every time - I get frustrated seeing people bust out 50 'girly' push ups and still claim they can't do full ones! Often it is a mental barrier which I think people face, it all goes back to the 'won't it make me big and bulky' fear which I'm glad most Tribesports girls aren't worried about!

    encouraged this.


    i now love doing push ups, thanks to tribe sports, when i started on here a couple of monthes ago was stuggling to do 10 in a row, now can do 20 in row and have managed 30 in a row once. they are great for building strength and get a great buzz from doing a set. i say go for it:)


    i'm very much at the quality not quantity end of the spectrum but like Hui i like how much you can feel your core working during full press ups! it is also a confidence booster to say you can do full ones, even if it is only a few at a time :)

    encouraged this.


    I try to do full pushups, but I can't get as low to the ground as the ideal form is. Will I eventually be able to do full pushups? My arms can only get 120 degree angle rather than 90 degrees (elbows outward).

    You need to be a member of Tribesports to comment.

    Join or sign in