A push-up is one of the most complete total body exercise there is. This exercise works all of the muscles in your upper body including your chest, triceps, and shoulders to push the whole body up and control the body alignment going down. Push-ups also engage your core, glutes and quads in order to keep proper form. It is a perfect body weight exercise – plus there are great modifications making it accessible to everyone!
Step 1: Get down on all fours, with your hands under but slightly outside of your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles.
Step 2: Lower your body towards the floor until your chest nearly touches the floor. As you lower yourself, brace your core, tuck your elbows and pull them closer to your body so that your upper arms form a 45-degree angle when your torso is in the bottom position. Keep your abs tight the entire time. Continue until you complete 10 in a row and progress to 3 sets.
Tips: Don’t let your hips drop at any point during the up and down motion of the pushups. If you cannot maintain your form – you may want to try one of the following modifications.
The kneeling pushup is even more beginner friendly than the standard floor push-ups. (Note: These are NOT “girl” push-ups! I don’t even know what a “girl” push-up is. Push-ups do not have a gender.) In a standard push-up, you lift your entire body from your head to toes without breaking your spinal alignment. This requires strength in your upper body, core, and glutes. Unlike floor push-ups, kneeling push-ups only carry the weight from your head to knees.
This shorter length of your body weight lightens the load placed on your body, thus makes this push-up variation easier and less loaded than the floor or incline push-ups. Though it’s a beginner friendly exercise, it is still a valid body weight exercise as it requires muscular strength to engage your abs and maintain the body alignment.
Step 1: Kneel down and place your hands on the floor or yoga mat. Hands should be shoulder width apart. Your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
Step 2: Brace your abs and clinch your butt muscles as you lower your torso towards the floor until your elbows from a 90 degree angle. Pause for 1-2seconds, then push your body back to the top position. Continue until you complete 10 in a row and progress to 3 sets.
The incline push-up is a modified version of the regular push-up and beginner friendly exercise. By elevating the upper body and performing the push-ups on a higher surface reduce stress on your body and make the push-ups much easier and manageable for beginners who do not have the strength or mobility to do the push-up on the floor. Your goal is to gradually decrease the angle as you become stronger so you can challenge yourself to increase your strength.
Step 1: Place your hands on a bench or any secured elevated surface and get into a push-up position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles.
Step 2: Brace your core and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the bench. Pause for 1-2 seconds at the bottom, then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Don’t let your hips drop at any point during the exercise. Try 3 sets of 10.
I hope that push-ups become a standard part of your enjoyouts! You can do them anywhere – at any time! Super versatile and so effective! See you back here next week for another Trainer Tip Tuesday. In the meantime – move your body and ENJOY!