POWER TO THE PUSH-UP

POWER TO THE PUSH-UP!

My go-to strength exercise?! My classes and clients could easily tell you….. THE PUSH-UP. The push-up is the ultimate measure of fitness. Engaging muscle groups in the arms, chest, shoulders, and core, the act of lifting one’s own body weight is difficult even for those who are in great shape. Push-ups represent one of the simplest and most effective ways of demonstrating  physical strength.

I love the push-up because it is a timeless exercise – important for all ages, genders, and athletic capabilities. Everyone can benefit from push-ups! The ability to do push-ups is especially important in older people, as it can improve  strength, balance, and serve as an  effective form of fall prevention. Aging causes muscles to weaken and nerves to die, resulting in as much as a 30 percent loss of strength between the ages of 20 and 70. By building strength in muscle fibers, push-ups can help us resist the rigours of aging.Daily exercise routines that include push-ups are what has kept  fitness legend Jack LaLanne in the shape of someone less than half his age. LaLanne, says that the “key to an effective push-up workout is being able to lower one’s self as far as possible before lifting back up.”

The push-up may as well be the best exercise.  Regularly adding push-ups to your workout won’t just strengthen your chest – It will  shape your shoulders, triceps, and glutes while tightening your entire core. Working all those muscles at once torches tons of calories and will give your body the power it needs to succeed.

As I always say in class….. “It doesn’t get easier till you get STRONGER.” No time is better than right now – lets do some push-ups…. READY GO!

FEARLESS FITNESS CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK: PERFECT YOUR PUSHUP!

It’s time to PERFECT your push-up! This week I challenge you to focus in on your form and PERFORM FIVE PERFECT PUSHUPS each day. Can’t do a full push-up just yet? Thats ok! Use this helpful push-up chart from Women’s Health and find the variation that currently suits you. You will make your way down the chart eventually…. Ball push-ups… HERE I COME!

To do: Get into plank position, with your hands under but slightly outside of your shoulders. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. As you lower yourself, tuck your elbows, pulling them close to your body so that your upper arms form a 45-degree angle when your torso is in the bottom position of the move. Pause, then push back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Keep your core braced the entire time. If your hips sag at any point during the exercise, your form has been broken. When this happens, consider that your last repetition and end the set. If it hurts your wrists to put your hands directly on the floor, place a pair of dumbbells (use a pair with flat edges, like hex dumbbells) at the spots where you’d position your hands. Then grasp the dumbbells’ handles and keep your wrists straight as you perform the exercise.dotted line
Look, Ma, No Knees! In the pushup spectrum of easiest to hardest, lots of people get stuck in the modified (read: girlie) stage because they find the incline pushup too tough. Here’s a clever trick: Set a barbell in a power rack at about chest height. Place your hands on the bar and get into pushup position. Try to do 12 pushups with perfect form. If you can do more, lower the bar one notch and repeat until you’re challenged. If you can’t for 12 reps, raise the bar one notch and test yourself again.dotted line
Stability-Ball Pushup (Hardest)
Need someone to help you work your way to Push-up perfection?! Well… you always know where to find me 🙂 THANK YOU again for being an amazing Fearless Family – hope to see you (and your PUSH-UP!) soon!

Caroline

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