No need to fear the push-up – it boosts strength and confidence
One way to scare my clients is by challenging them to do push-ups.
They can be a lot of fun, especially in a class setting. I also secretly relish the ability to do better push-ups than most out of shape guys.
For me, push-ups make me feel powerful, strong and confident. I enjoy demonstrating them for my clients. I love coaching women of all ages to do a proper push-up. As a personal trainer, I see potential in most of the clients that I train that they themselves do not see.
So when we begin our sessions with push-ups, the fear and doubt in their face reminds me of where I started — we all have to begin somewhere.
Check out a few great reasons to do push-ups below:
Since push-ups are a total body movement they will increase your heart rate quickly.
When your heart rate increases, this results in burning more calories, which leads to weight loss and overall improvement in your body's composition.
The more you do them, the stronger you'll get.
Builds core strength
Have you ever noticed your hips sagging during a push-up? That is because your abdominal muscles are not acting as stabilisers, just like they would in a plank. A stronger core leads to stronger push-ups.
Improvement of upper-body strength
Push-ups use body weight rather than handheld weights, to build upper-body strength. Push-ups target the shoulders, pecs and triceps, which help to develop a defined and strong upper body.
We've all heard that as we age our bone mass decreases.
That's why doing body-weight exercises such as push-ups are important to keep our bones strong. Aside from major muscle groups, push-ups are also beneficial in strengthening your wrists and elbows, so your risk for injury is low especially when performed properly.
To try out your own push-up correctly:
• Start in a full plank position with your arms extended beneath your shoulders, legs together or about ten inches apart, resting on the balls of your feet.
• Keep your back straight and your weight evenly positioned.
• Lower your body as far as you can, maintaining core stability, hips level and core tight, until your elbows are as close to 90 degrees as possible (rest at the bottom if needed), and then push back up.
If a full push-up is too challenging perform from a hands-and-knees position, you can also do inclined push-ups where you place your hands on a bench or wall and lean forward at a 45-degree angle.
Do not forget to keep your core tight and your back flat.
Enjoy your push-ups and B-Active For Life!
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook