Power of the Push-up

Push-ups are a common tool to test upper body strength and endurance. So what is it about a push-up that makes it so tough, yet so good!? When doing a push-up, you are working your pectoralis muscles, triceps, deltoids, coracobrachialis, serratus anterior, and also activating core muscles. They are also great because no equipment is needed. If you have never performed a push-up before, you may want to begin with an easier version and then progress to a regular push-up and then further progress to harder variations of a push-up.

To begin, you can start with your knees on the ground. Place your hands a little further than shoulder width apart with your middle finger facing straight ahead. Start with elbows fully extended. You want your body to be in a straight line, meaning you don’t want your butt in the air or sagging too low! Slowly lower yourself so that your chest is close to the ground and then push back up into the original position.

You can also begin with a wall push-up. Start with your palms on a wall, slightly further than shoulder width apart, with the middle finger facing upward. Back your feet away from the wall so you are at a slight angle. Bend your elbows and lean forward until your nose just about touches the wall. Again, keep your butt in line with your body. If it feels too easy, you can move your hands down to a lower surface, such as a desk or edge of a couch.

If you want to make your traditional push-up more challenging, you can perform a decline push-up. Place your feet on a small box or chair so that you are on a decline. Bend your elbows and lower yourself so that your nose almost touches the floor then push up to your starting position.

Next, you can progress to using an unstable surface such as a stability ball or bosu ball. You can place your feet on the stability ball instead of a box so that you are performing a decline push-up with an unstable surface. You can also keep your feet on the ground and put your hands on a bosu ball. All of these variations make the traditional push-up much harder.

These are just a few examples of how a push-up can be progressed. There are many other ways to make them more difficult, including one arm push-ups or one leg push-ups. It’s important to use good form to avoid injury. Remember to keep your hips in line with your body! If you are looking to start a new exercise program (including fun variations of push-ups!) call Fitness Together at 330-702-1311

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Posted by on March 9, 2013. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry