Let’s go back to basics here with one of the most common and effective exercises that you can do anywhere with absolutely no equipment. So yep no excuses. The world’s best exercise and my true favorite is THE PUSH-UP! Did you cringe a little when you read push-up. I get that with pretty much every new client I work with.
I choose this article because so many of the women I work with struggle with push ups and would rather do anything else. However I don’t say push-ups are the world’s best exercise lightly. And I assure you it’s not my favorite exercise because I want to watch you suffer. The push up is a compound exercise. It helps build better posture, flexibility, and while activating every large muscle group can be a very effective cardiovascular exercise working hard to deliver oxygen to muscle tissues. Yep I said it’s also a cardio exercise.
There are also so many variations to the standard push-up making it my favorite body weight exercise to help anyone meet their fitness goals. So if you don’t already do push-ups I want to change that. And no I don’t allow anyone to do knee push-ups AKA “the girl push-up”.
It’s possible you may need to begin with a PLANK rather than go right into a push-up and that’s totally fine.
- Start on your hands and knees with your shoulders over your wrists.
- Extend each leg out behind you forming a straight line from head to feet.
- Keep your tummy nice and tight pointing your belly button towards and squeeze your glutes.
- Be careful not to push your butt up in the air or any sagging of the hips and lower back.
Now hold your plank for as long as you can even if that means 5-10 seconds in the beginning. Over time I want you to aim for 90 seconds.
Moving on to the Push Up!
- Set up as you would for your plank . I suggest starting off with your hands slightly narrower than shoulder width.
- When extending your legs back they should be shoulder width apart in the beginning and feet together as you progress.
- Inhale and then lower your body as you exhale. Think of your body as moving in one unit. Again tummy tight and squeeze your glutes.
*I recommend only slightly lowering your body in the beginning. If you feel your losing your form, (hips sagging) then only go that far down until you can go all the way down without losing form. You can go a little further each time until you can do a full push up.
Bonus: The wider you place your hands the more you work your chest. The closer to your body (elbows in) the more you work your triceps.
The wonderful thing about pushups is you feel the results quickly as your body gets stronger. I suggest every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed to do as many pushups as you can. Then add an extra one pushup every day or more.