Whether you are a beginner at doing push-ups, or you haven’t done them in a very long time, push-ups are an excellent exercise for beginners and can be an excellent exercise utilized in any fitness routine no matter how advanced you are. The great thing about push-ups are that they work your muscles from your shoulders and neck, down to your toes. However, the most targeted areas of course are your pectorals, triceps and deltoids, and abdominal muscles…in simple terms, your chest, arms, and abs. It makes a great starting point to anyone looking into getting into shape, because it starts you off utilizing your own body’s weight. This will not only quickly strengthen you and lean you up, but also prepare your body for some vigorous workouts in the future. They will greatly enhance core strength, balance, and power. As your body gets stronger, your mass (muscle size and density) will increase and therefore add on to the workload of your push-ups as you get bigger. This is why you are never really too strong for push-ups. This exercise should be done at least three times a week every other day which gives you the weekend to rest and rebuild. So how does a beginner or someone who’s been out of the game for a while get back into the fray?
Probably the easiest starting point is to begin leaning against the wall with your arms straight out and your hands shoulder width apart. Lean down into the wall bending your arms simulating a push-up on the floor. Once your face is about two inches from the wall, proceed to push back out away from the wall straightening your arms. Continue until you can no longer do any more. Wait a couple minutes and repeat. Do three sets. If you can do more than twenty and you are not maxed out, you may want to increase the angle by leaning into something lower to the ground like a bench or counter. The lower you go to the floor, the higher the difficulty.
When you are comfortable doing more than twenty reps on an incline you can make it to the ground. Go into a crawling position on your knees with your legs crossed on the floor. Your arms and hands should be shoulder width apart. Go down like you would a normal push-up, and as you go down, raise your feet in the air. Make sure you keep your back straight. You should go far enough to make your upper arm and shoulders perpendicular to your forearms. Your face should make it just a couple inches from the ground. Then proceed to go back up into the starting position. Continue until you can do no more, rest for two minutes, and repeat. When you are comfortable with twenty or more reps, you are now ready to do classic push-ups. Simply straighten your legs going into a plank position. Keeping your back straight, go down until your face is a few inches from the floor and your upper arms are perpendicular from your forearms. Then raise yourself up straightening your arms. Continue until you can do no more, rest two minutes, and repeat. Keep going with as many sets as possible.
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