Guest Author - Terri Johansen
The votes are in and Fitness Specialist agree that push-ups are as near too the perfect exercise that you can get. Push-ups have been around for ages, do you remember junior high school gym class? But push-ups are often overlooked today for various reasons such as, they are old-fashioned, and how can something that looks so simple really work.
There are a variety of types of push-ups. Here we are talking about the basic push-up. Many people state that they love push-ups because they don’t require any equipment, so it’s cheap, and easy to learn. Push-ups are undoubtedly one of the best ways to build upper body strength, especially targeting your chest, triceps, shoulders, abs, and upper back.
A push-up is a resistance exercise and therefore strengthening muscles and provides bone-building effects. When done properly the push-up actually works your entire body. In order for a push-up to work effectively you must be aware of what to look for. When you are in the pushing position you use your shoulders, traps, and abs to stabilize the body. You want to try to keep from using other muscle groups that aren’t as beneficial. When lowering back down you rely on your legs, glutes, and abs. Some people discover that their core muscles are weak and find themselves sagging in the abs and butt because of this.
So how do you do the perfect push-up?
•Get down on all fours
•Line your arms up so they are directly under the shoulders and shoulder width apart; keep your arms straight
•Straighten your legs with your weight on your toes and keep your feet close together
•Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head
•Don’t drop your head, keep it in the starting position
•Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor
•Pause at the bottom, and then push yourself back to the starting position
•If you find your hips beginning to sag it means that you are losing your form and need to stop for now.
You don’t have to start with the traditional style version. Some people have injuries or lack strength in their shoulders, wrists, or elbows. In this case a variation would be to do wall-pushups until you are stronger.
•To do a wall push-up you merely lean against a wall with your legs straight and toes a few feet away.
•Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height and shoulder width apart.
•You will want to keep your elbows close into your body and do not splay them open as you push up.
Other variations include the on your knees push-up.
•Begin in starting position however place your knees on the floor rather than straight out behind you.
•Bend your knees and cross your ankles behind you.
•Don’t let your hips sag.
•This is a way to make the model push-up easier. As you get stronger try moving to the full position.
There is a large amount of variations for the push-up. Choose the one that is right for you and build your body strong.
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