Workout Wednesday #4

by DavalosMcCormack on December 31, 2008

A trip to the gym can be a dazzling, dizzying, even confusing experience. Nowadays many sports clubs are filled with so many high tech gadgets, gizmos and equipment that it can be hard to figure out what to do with them.

That’s why it’s reassuring to realize that one of the very best exercises doesn’t need a gym, in fact it requires no equipment at all; just your body and a bit of imagination.


The push-up, also called a press-up,  is the most basic of exercises but it works your arms, shoulders, upper chest and abs. It’s a great way to build up strength at your own pace, even in your own living room!

Here’s how you do it. You lie face down on the floor with your hands at shoulder level, palms flat on the floor and slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your feet are together with the toes on the floor and your ankles in the air.

Keeping your gaze just ahead of your body push up with your arms. Engage your core muscles to make sure your body remains completely straight throughout the exercise. Make sure you don’t bend or arch your back during the push up as this can cause injury.

As you push up, exhale. At the top of the movement pause for a second, then lower back down, till your chest is almost but not quite touching the floor.

Don’t rush it. Take three or four seconds getting from the bottom to the top position, and a couple more seconds getting back down. That puts the muscles under more tension for longer, increasing the workload on them. It’s harder than doing the move quickly but you’ll get greater benefits, and faster too.

That’s it. Now there are loads of variations that can work different groups of muscles and make you work even harder.

For instance you can do it with your knuckles on the ground instead of your palms. You can do it with your fingers on the ground. You can do it with your hands meeting underneath your chest. You can do it with your feet raised on a chair or box. All are good. But they are for later on, once you’ve perfected the technique and built up some stamina.

And if you would like to see how it’s done, check here.

Simple eh!

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