December 12, 2008, Newsletter Issue #356: The Push-Up

Tip of the Week





  You have probably seen tons of people do push-ups before or you may think you are a master yourself.  I am guaranteeing that Push-Ups are much harder than you believe them to be, when done properly of course.  Let's learn a thing or two about the Push-Up.
  First off, it is a very advanced exercise so not all are able to perform it.  This exercise works literally the whole of your upperbody when done right.  Very few know how to do it properly to innervate the correct musculature and make sure one does not hurt themselves in the movement.  I want to try and teach you proper technique.
  Start with arms straight and hands flat and spread out directly beneath the shoulder, meaning that ones head should be past their hands on the floor.  Draw in your belly button slightly and lightly contract your gluteus muscles (butt).  This helps keep pain from entering into the lower back area.  Make sure feet are hip-width apart.  Now that you have a better idea of what the posture looks like, hold that while doing the correct motion.
  Slowly bend the elbows keeping them close to the body, leading with the chest and ensuring the abdomen stays steady and does not allow the lower back to slouch.  Stop once arms are bent at 90 degrees while not allowing the head to shoot towards the floor and pause for a moment.  While staying perfectly steady, push back up with arms still close to body and not arching the lower back or bringing the head forward.
  Now, if you believe that these are easy, I challenge you to do them slowly (as in take 10 seconds to reach the floor, hold for 5 seconds, and up for 5 seconds).  For those of you who feel these would be to difficult then try them on your knees; just be careful to not allow your shoulders to come up to your ears and you'll be doing the properly.


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