Hudson's has been mastering the exercise with the help of a few tools.

By Arielle Tschinkel
July 02, 2021
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Kate Hudson has been slaying the workout game lately, even managing to get her sweat on during filming breaks on location in Greece. (Yeah, it's OK if you're a bit jealous. No judgments!) For the past six weeks, she's been working with trainer Brian Nguyen, tackling full-body workouts with a focus on form — because sometimes, going back to the basics is key.

Hudson recently shared an Instagram video of herself doing push-ups, which she notes in the caption are "always challenging" for her. The mom-of-three expressed her admiration for people who can casually crank out push-ups like they're NBD.

"Sway back, get in my shoulders, hard to activate core for me," she wrote in her caption. "I love seeing bodies pop off push ups like it's nothing. One motion and so purty! And takes a lot of prep and effort. Hats off to you out there who work so hard to get there. So amazing! SO HARD!!!!"

Hudson has been working with Nguyen on mastering her form — an absolutely crucial part of any exercise movement, but especially for push-ups, when incorrect form can lead to injury, the trainer tells Shape. When they first started working together, Hudson was unable to do a push-up with proper form, but she's worked her way up to those fierce sets she shared on the 'gram, he says. (Remember the pair's muscle-quivering core workout?)

A push-up requires you to fully engage your core, legs, and hips, says Nguyen. "I think the biggest thing is that [Hudson] didn't start with push-ups," he says. The pair began with a functional movement screen, which can assess movement or imbalance issues and, hopefully, highlight opportunities to correct form and prevent injuries well before they happen. "When I tested her push-up, she did not perform it with integrity; her hips didn't come up with her shoulders," shared Nguyen. (He says to picture a seal's flop — you get the idea.) "That was a sign that her core integrity needed work."

After the assessment, they started with floor presses — a move that, unlike the push-up, doesn't strain your shoulders or wrists since your back is to the floor as you lift and lower weights. Perfecting Hudson's push-up form has taken the pair lots of time and work, and she has made tons of progress, says Nguyen. (Related: The Dumbbell Bench Press Is One of the Best Upper-Body Exercises You Can Do)

In the video, Hudson is using a few tools that Nguyen calls "training wheels," since they help alleviate tension without making things harder. Hudson wore a Mark Bell Slingshot Resistance Band (Buy It, $22, target.com) around her arms. Nguyen notes its benefits are twofold: it lightens the load from the bottom half of your body, offering support as you descend, while also keeping your arms tight to your body. He says that while it helps correct your form, it doesn't assist or make push-ups easier (sorry!), but instead acts as a training tool to help you stay on-point through each push. (Want more? Try these 4 push-up variations that'll help you finally master this move.)

In the video, Hudson also uses a set of Bear Blocks (Buy It, $50, bearblocks.com) beneath her hands, protecting them from calluses with minimalistic gloves similar to Fit Four Weightlifting Gloves (Buy It, $23, amazon.com). The blocks provide an "optimal position for the wrists, helping you to fall forward properly and not into your neck, chin, or shoulders," says Nguyen. Placing your hands on the blocks (Nguyen says yoga blocks work well too) also helps to keep your form on point — which, if you haven't noticed by now, is really the name of the game here. "If you notice in her push-ups, her hands are to her sides, not by her neck or shoulders," he says.

If you want to perfect your own push-up form, try to engage your abs while pushing off the ground, rather than just pushing up through your neck and shoulders. "Your form is the most important thing," he emphasized, noting that performing push-ups will help in pretty much everything you do, from picking up your kids to lifting heavy suitcases, as you make your way to Greece — or wherever your summer adventures might take you. Dare to dream, right?