Push ups are one of those exercises everyone should do, but no one seems to like! They work the core and upper body, and improve shoulder strength. Most people can’t do one proper push up, but with practise, you can get there fairly quickly.
Again, you don’t need a lot of space and no special equipment. Just your body weight.
Here’s how to do them:
- Start in the plank position, hands just a little wider than your shoulders. Your feet can be together, or wider apart. The wider apart your feet, the easier the exercise.
- Engage your core (try clenching your butt and tighten your abs).
- Lower your body until your arms are at 90 degrees. Don’t lower any further than this. Try not to let your elbows stick out too far. As you fatigue you’ll notice they want to do this.
- Pause briefly, then push your body back to the starting position.
- Keep your body straight through the whole push up. Don’t let your butt stick up in the air.
- Focus on good form rather than reps. Its far better to do 8 perfect push ups than 15 where the last 10 aren’t proper push ups.
If you can’t do a full push up, start with a wall push up – just to the push up standing up, against a wall. Gradually increase the angle. Then do push ups off a table. Then a coffee table, until eventually you will be strong enough to do one on flat ground. Gradually increase your reps, until you can do 10. Then 3 sets of 10.
Neen Monty is NOT a personal trainer…but she’s often called a gym junky, fitness fanatic and health nut. She’s a single mother of two, and knows how challenging it can be to find the time to exercise. Since her diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis five years ago, appropriate exercise has been part of her treatment regime and she is a firm believer in finding a form of exercise that suits your level of fitness, general health and interests.