There’s nothing girly about them. :)
When we label moves, classes or exercises as ‘girly’, it allows 2 things. One: men who might need to do the modification feel weird doing it (and they shouldn’t feel that way). If they’re not ready for more difficult modifications, it can lead to injury and make them averse to trying pushups at all. Two: It allows women to stick with the modification well beyond the point they should. Once they’ve mastered it, they should be trying harder versions. Even trying a few of a harder modification is beneficial to developing upper body AND core strength (for those that didn’t know, pushups are an amazing core exercise).
Use my guide Working Your Way to Perfect Pushups… to help you master your pushups no matter what your level.
The term ‘girly’ pushups derives from a long ass time ago, where school gym classes accommodated different methods for boys and girls. While it seemed easier to separate it by sex, there’s no need to. Pushups should be separated by fitness level and ability. While it’s true that men generally have more upper body strength to start with, that doesn’t mean that women have none. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t women out there who can out pushup plenty of men, and men out there who should start against a wall and NOT on the mat.
Work on your terminology! Next time you hear the term ‘girly’ pushup leave your lips or anyone else’s, take a second to correct yourself! MODIFIED pushups please. (same goes for words like ‘sissy’, ‘easy’, ‘wimpy’, ‘wussy’, or anything else than implies ‘less than awesome’. Stick to modified).
Go at your own pace and level, and work your way up, no matter what your gender. Boys, get on your knees or go against a wall if you’re still working on building your strength up to full pushups. Ladies, get off your knees if modified pushups are getting too easy! Don’t limit yourself when it comes to your fitness. :)