Personal Push-Ups

July 28, 2016


            Hello everyone! My name is Stephanie, aka Stephanie Strong, and I am a passionate fitness professional at Gravity



+ Oxygen in Boca Raton, FL. As a personal trainer and group fitness coach, I hear a lot of inspiring fitness goals from women. While setting big fitness goals and aspirations are important, I like to have my clients consider some other skill-specific goals as well. Maybe your fitness goal is to lose the baby weight or dreaded freshmen 15, but how about including some shorter termed goals that can help track your progress? One of my favorite goals, especially for a woman is mastering 10 STRONG push-ups in a row.


            The push-up; a total-body functional movement that is great for increasing upper body strength and has the added benefit of increasing core stability. A correct push-up is a difficult skill, emphasis on CORRECT. Remember, push-ups are commonly used as a form of punishment in the military, so yes they should feel challenging. I can’t count the number of times my female clients have told me, “I suck at push-ups.” Let it be said that I see both men and women performing incorrect push-ups. So ladies, you are not alone in your push-up phobia. 10 push-ups, in a row, from your toes can sound pretty tough, so I often have my clients begin with modified knee push-ups. Just do NOT let me hear you call them “girl push-ups.” I am not a fan of that phrase. Once you have mastered 10 modified knee push-ups, move immediately on to from the toes push-ups. Sometimes, myself included, we get too comfortable on modifications, so keep that in mind. Here are some of my push-up tips and cues that can lead you to your personal push-up goal!


Dynamic stretching. Yes, it is important to stretch before push-ups! Make sure you hit your upper body, core, and don’t forget your wrists!


Alignment! Shoulders should align directly over hands. When your shoulders move behind your hands your core dis-engages. To correct alignment, don’t take hands off the ground, just shift body forward until core re-engages.


No wings.  Keep elbows tight along side your body during entire push-up.


Stiff as a board. When performing push-up, your body should lower and raise as one. Envision a board glued to your body. Don’t do “the wave” where your chest comes up before your hips.


Don’t flop. Your chest is the first and only thing that should touch the floor when lowering from your push-up position. Keep this part of your push-up very controlled and don’t let yourself just fall to the ground.


PLANK it out! Plank holds are great for improving core and shoulder stability, which are critical in push-ups. This can be another opportunity to make a specific goal; try 1 minute plank hold off toes. 



Name: Stephanie Pollan

Nick Name: Steph Strong

G+O's Newest Group Training Instructor

Favorite Food: Lobster 

Favorite Quote: "You got to be a beast. That's the only way they will respect you." -Nicki Minaj 

Favorite Exercise: Lunges all day.

If she had one super power it would be: Don't need one.  

Current goals: To get my clients stronger and keep them motivated in reaching their own goals.  

Why she works at G+O: I work at G+O because of the amazing community and sick workouts.   





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