Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Push Up: A Classic Exercise Move That Has Withstood the Test of Time

I love classic stuff. Classic cars, classic movies, classic everything. But, my favorite would have to be classic exercise moves. This less than glamorous move is not something you would expect to see flashing on the cover of a big time exercise magazine.

If you are as old as I am you just may remember having to go to gym class at least 3 times a week. Well according to my son those days are long gone. But, one of my first memories of that gym class is the first exercise move we were taught. The old standard pushup.

The push up is by far one of the best known body weight exercises in the world. So much so it is used as an integral part of all four of the United States military services yearly physical fitness assessments. It is also one of the best all body moves you can do. Push ups work your chest, shoulder, arm, and abdominal muscles. And to some degree your leg muscles.

Remember to warm up prior to performing army exercises. I find a brisk walk or a few sets of jumping jacks do the trick. So without further ado let's get to the mechanics of doing a push up.

Prep: Lying face down on the floor with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bring yourself up off of the floor by extending your arms (do not lock the elbows). Ensure the back and stomach are straight with no sagging. You should be on you toes with the feet spread slightly.

Execute the move: Begin by slowly lowering the body by bending the arms. Once the elbows are at a 90 degree angle you are in the down position. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds. To return to the up position, push your chest up until the arms are extended (once again do not lock the elbows).

Repeat as many times as determined by your workout routine.

- Keep the upper and lower body straight during all movements.
- Breath in during the down execution and exhale while returning to the up position.
- Make sure your core is tight during the entire exercise (to tighten your core pull your belly button towards your spine and hold).

That my friends is how you perform a classic push up. Follow these simple tips/techniques and you will be well on your way performing perfect pushups.

Note: Please remember to consult your Physician prior to starting any physical fitness regime.

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