Want great arms and a strong core? Try a Pushup!
by Angie Miller
A Pushup is a great functional move that works the chest while toning the arms and strengthening the core. It’s one of my favorite exercises because it’s a bodyweight move requiring no extra equipment. It’s just you against gravity, and that’s the foundation of all training. Bodyweight exercises improve our form and posture and increase our overall body awareness.
Pushups are one of the most versatile, effective bodyweight exercises; and the best part is that anyone can do them, from a novice to an advanced exerciser. If you’re new to pushups you can start by doing them against the wall. From there you can perform them on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. After you’ve mastered that, you can try them in a modified or full plank position, depending on your arm, shoulder, and core strength. There are endless options for pushups, and no matter how you incorporate them into your weekly routine I guarantee that pushups deliver results. It won’t take long before you’ll see amazing definition in your arms, your core will feel stronger, and you’ll walk taller.
Step One: Begin in plank position, either on your knees or on your toes. Place your hands a little wider than shoulder distance apart. Keep your hips level and your torso long and extended. Your head should be in line with your spine.
Step Two: Bend at your elbows and lower your body toward the ground, ideally until your chest is a few inches from the floor. Make sure that your head is still an extension of your spine so you don't allow it to drop. Inhale as you go down.
Tip: Pretend you have a belt around your waist so your center will stay strong. You want to avoid letting your hips drop or your lower back sway.
Step Three: Once you have lowered your body as far as you can while still maintaining good form, slowly press back up, exhaling as you go. Be sure to keep your body in one straight line all throughout the movement.
Now that you have the 411 on pushups, feel free to drop and give me 20.
Check back next week for more fitness tips, ideas, and information.
Angie Miller is the star and creator of the Bedroom Body™ Workout and other top selling exercise DVD’s. Passionate about fitness and education, Angie teaches at Northern Illinois University and is a Certification Specialist for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is a freelance writer, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and proud mom. Learn more about Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com