The basic pushup is an exercise to strengthen your triceps, shoulders and chest as well as to prevent saggy arms. Because a pushup also employs your lower body and abdominals to stabilize movement, the exercise requires the synchronization of several muscle groups. For people who have never done a pushup or are not physically fit, the exercise can be challenging, if not impossible. Try a modified pushup, also known as a bent-knee pushup, which reduces the amount of body weight you need to lift.
Spread a mat or towel on the floor. Lie prone on the mat with your face down.
Bend your knees and raise your lower legs so they form a right angle to your body. Form a cross with your ankles.
Keep your shoulders down and your neck long. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and stretch your fingers. Tighten your behind, draw in your navel and abdomen, and squeeze your legs together.
Breathe in deeply, and then push the ground away. Exhale as you raise your body until your arms straighten. Keep your back straight.
Lower yourself back to the ground, taking a breath in.
Repeat the pushup, striving to get a full range of motion. Continue to exhale as you push your body up and inhale as you lower your body to the ground.
Hold your body at the apex of a pushup for 30 seconds to strengthen your core. Progress this exercise by increasing the time until you can hold the pushup position for two minutes.
Incorporate pushups into your daily routine. Start with five pushups per day. Add one pushup every week until you hit your personal target number.
- "Sports Medicine Essentials: Core Concepts in Athletic Training & Fitness…”; Jim Clover; 2010
- FitSugar: Take the Pushup Challenge
- “Diva: The Fitness System to Unleash Your Female Power”; Terri Walsh; 2006
- “Weight Training for Dummies”; Liz Neporent, et al.; 2006
- “7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back...”; Steve Speirs; 2009