Hello, True North movement fans… we’re here with our second entry in our What the Fundamentals? series.

Today we’ll be looking at the “push” or more specifically the push-up, one variation of this fundamental movement pattern. The push-up is a great bodyweight exercise that will help you strengthen your chest, shoulders, arms and anterior core. In other words, not only are push-ups perfect for tank top season they are an awesome total body exercise too. Can’t-do a push-up? Here’s where to start:

Long Front Plank – Lots of people think they have a hard time doing push-ups due to a lack of upper body strength but more often than not it’s actually core strength that’s lagging behind – push-ups are the combination of an upper-body pushing movement with a plank. The long front plank is a great exercise for strengthening the musculature of the anterior core.

Goal: Once you are able to complete 2 to 3 sets of 30 to 60 seconds with good form it’s time to level up.

Mountain Climbers – Being able to maintain core stability is a must for push-ups. Slow mountain climbers are a great exercise to gain the necessary levels of core stability required as this exercise challenges you to maintain a neutral spine while drawing your knee into your chest.

Goal: Once you are able to complete 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions per side with good form it’s time to try a push-up.

Elevated Push-Ups – Elevating your push-ups makes keeping your alignment easier because you are angling more of your bodyweight towards your feet; the higher you elevate your hands, the easier the push-up is. Elevated push-ups are a great exercise to work on developing the necessary levels of strength to progress to performing push-ups at a lower incline and eventually the floor.

Goal: Once you are able to complete 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions with good form progress a lower incline and eventually the floor.

There you have it, how to go from beginner to badass with your push-ups True North style. Hope you find this helpful – and feel free to share it with anyone that might be looking for a little guidance!