Thursday, July 5, 2012

Back to Basics for Beginners - The Push-Up

Each week in July, we will feature a basic bodyweight move that beginners can perform to build their strength and endurance. This week we will focus on the push up.

A push-up is a common calisthenics exercise that builds both upper body and core strength. Done properly, it is a compound exercise that uses muscles in the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and even the legs. It builds muscle and strength by forcing you to “lift” your own bodyweight.
Push-ups are a great bodyweight exercise for beginners because you can choose a version to match your fitness level. Once you are comfortable with form and can do 10 reps, move to the next challenging type of push-up.

You can do push-ups anytime, anywhere and you can make them easier or more difficult depending upon your fitness level.

Here is a link that will show you the proper way to perform a push-up.

There are many ways to modify push-ups, from easy to difficult.

Wall Push-ups

Knee Push-ups



Paper Plate Push-ups (video provided)

You can also target different muscles by changing the placement of your hands. Spread your hands a little farther out from under your shoulders than with a traditional pushup and you'll target muscles in your chest more. Bring your hands closer together, placing them directly under your shoulders, to focus on your triceps and shoulders.

Which is your favorite style of push-up?


Kari said...

I am hopeless at push ups. Seriously, terribly, hopeless! I think I need to go back to the wall version - maybe I'd enjoy them a bit more if I dropped the difficulty level.

Andrea said...

Right now my favorite is clapping push ups
They are hard and fun at the same time. Next up mastering the 1 arm pushup! That is going to take awhile.