I am a huge advocate for push ups. They are, as far as I'm concerned, the best exercise anyone can do. Now, before you stop reading this, hear me out.
I like to call push ups the "lunges of the upper body"- just as lunges work multiple muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, calves), the push up works the chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, upper back, core, and even the legs!
|If you know me, you know this was me, doing push ups on my wedding day. |
I was also picking up a purse with my teeth.
So why the hate?
They're hard, I get it- but modified push ups are still wonderful exercises for all to do! Often, people get discouraged at how difficult push ups are, or women believe that push ups will lead to "bulkiness". LADIES- they will do the opposite! Who doesn't want slim, sexy, toned Michelle Obama arms? I make my friends do push ups in their most glamorous attire.
|Katie did literally 20+ push ups in her wedding gown. I cried a single tear. |
|Kate did 3 sets of push ups. She is hardcore. |
|I'd like to note two things: 1. This was also at my wedding, and 2. The woman in the blue was 8 months pregnant.|
Push ups are the FIRST exercise I suggest to brides when they are preparing to get into that dress! So many women are afraid of the "back fat spillover" and push ups will, without a doubt, help tone this area. In addition, many of my clients/class attendees tell me that people often notice their arms! They may hate me (fine.. DO hate me), but I give results, people. Do your push ups.
1. Begin with what you can. There are a multitude of options- including beginner, intermediate and advanced options.
2. My biggest tip for push ups is to LOOK FORWARD- this will give you much better form throughout your entire body!
3. Keep your body STRAIGHT as if you are completing a plank (even if you are on your knees). DO NOT let your belly/hips sag- your core should be activated the entire time, like you are pulling your belly button up to meet your lower back- just don't hold your breath.
4. Inhale to lower, exhale to lift.
5. Ladies- you are not built the same as a man- so begin with your hands under your shoulders. Then, move them a little wider than mat-width apart. Your fingers are pointing forward and your elbows are wide.
6. For extra support, keep your feet hip width apart!
: Push ups completed on the knees, but with the upper body resembling a table top. Bring your chest down towards the ground and back to starting.
: Push ups completed on the knees, upper body in a diagonal straight line.
Option 1: Modified Push Ups
Option 1 shown with stability ball
: Any push up completed on the toes.
Option 1: Regular Push Up
Option 2: One and a Half Push Ups
Option 3: Wide Push Up with Kick
Option 4: Push Up Spiderman
I'm a true believer in the push up! Women LOVE working their lower body (squats, lunges) so it is important to me to add dimension and option for the upper body as well. Try adding any of these options into your regular routine- they are all especially great for HIIT training and circuit training.
Push Ups: friend or foe?
Definite FRIEND for this chick here.
What is YOUR favourite exercise?