2. The Push up
The second place in my body Weight list goes to the push ups. The push up is one of this basic exercise that you will see performed everywhere, no matter the sport, the age or the gender. Push up has been there for ages and is here to stay!
Nowadays in my daily experience as a personal trainer and instructor, I can see an interesting trend, the girls are getting stronger in general and more interested in all the strength exercises such as squats, deadlifts, chin ups and push ups.
In my classes and with my clients the girls show interest in that bodyweight exercise that provide numerous benefits.
To perform a push up:
1. Lie on the floor face down and place your hands about 2.5-3 feet (75-90cm) apart. Hold your body up at arm's length while balancing on your toes (Maintain a plank position).
2. Bending at the elbows, lower yourself downward until your chest or your chin touch the floor. Breathe in.
3. Now, exhale and push your upper body back up to the starting position, squeezing your muscles in your chest as you rise.
After a brief pause, repeat for as many repetitions as needed.
Tips for beginners:
1. Lie on the floor face down and place your hands about 2.5-3 feet (75-90cm) apart. Your elbows will be bent.
Now Bend your knees (almost bring heels to your butt) and gently kick your toes to the ground, as your toes make contact with the ground stretch your arms and leg at the same time and push up.
FOLLOW STEP 3 ABOVE AND RESTART.
(Note as you start that you will find yourself bending your legs quite significantly in the start position in order to create that momentum and elevate your body. As you get better, you legs will intervene less).
Follow all the steps of phase 1 and just reduce the action of your toes when they make contact to the floor. Eventually, you will after not a long time, (it will depend on how many times a week you work on them), you will be able to work your way to the "real push up".
I reckon 4 sets of 5 phase 1, 4 times in a week should lead to phase 2.
The same amount of sets and reps should lead to the "real" push ups, then it is a case of working on your range of motion and make sure you go low when you complete your push ups.
What I like to do:
The push-up is a complex compound move that works your chest, biceps and core. There are even a few tough variations open to you once you get to grips with the exercise.
I use different variations depending on which upper body muscles I want to focus on.
Shoulder and upper chest focus: I will do "feet raised" push ups in order to have stronger shoulders and eventually perform hands stand push ups.
Place your feet on a high surface such as a bench or a few steps up the stairs and start your reps. This increases the resistance and targets the upper chest muscles more.
Core and shoulder focus: I will do Hindu push ups, as the execution of the exercise requires extreme shoulder control and keep the lower back tight.
Triceps focus: I will perform diamond push ups. Just brings your hands together and make a diamond shape, you can also add a few inches gap between your feet for a better stability. Once set, perform your push up as usual.
Explosiveness and maximum strength: I will perform plyometric push-up , the famous clap push-up . It develops explosive upper body power.
Use your standard push up setting, but push quick and hard to create enough distance between your hands and the floor.
A gym mat can be used to take away some strain off your wrists and you may also have your feet more separated than usual to help with stability.
The Benefits of the push up
Universal test of strength and fitness:
As they are a body weight exercise, push-ups are useful to test your fitness and strength, in a gym or even to enter the army or police forces.
Test yourself by performing push ups for three minutes.
Rest as much as you need, but don't stop. Strength coaches consider 55 to be "average", 75 "good".
GIVE IT A GO!
All ages and Genders:
Our bone density declines with age, after peaking during mid late 30s. Performing weight bearing exercises like push ups will strengthen your wrists, forearm, elbows, upper arms and shoulders.
Push up as bodyweight training is in fact a wonderful upper body resistance training, as your own bodyweight provides the resistance needed to increase your strength and eventually to reverse the loss of muscle mass and bone density due to aging.
It is a challenging exercise at first for the majority of the females but after her a short while they condition their body and mange to do as well as the males.
Upper body conditioning:
The main muscle used while doing a push ups are the chest muscles, shoulders and triceps. Doing push ups on a regular basis will strengthen and improve your physique and performances.
When you perform push ups, keep your spine neutrally curved and rigid so that any load is safely distributed.
To keep your spine properly aligned is the job of your core, "the mid-action muscles".
As you do push ups you are strengthening your core.
They are Versatile and FREE...