March 10, 2010
Ok, so push-ups may not be the newest or most creative exercise known to man, but the reality is this no equipment necessary exercise is tried and true when it comes to strengthening the chest, shoulders, arms, and core. The key to success in this exercise is correct form and also selecting a variation that is best suited for your current ability level. In doing so you will be able to complete this exercise both safely and effectively.
What are my options?
A great beginner level option to start with is the bent knee push-up. This variation allows you the opportunity to become more familiar with proper technique while still reaping the same muscle strengthening benefits as the traditional version of the exercise. If you notice any discomfort in the wrists you may opt to use dumbbells or grip handles instead of placing hands directly on the floor when completing this exercise in order to reduce the amount of stress being placed on the joints. Another great option that also helps to reduce joint strain is wall push-ups, which are completed in a standing position.
As you develop strength and become more comfortable with the mechanics of the above mentioned variations you may choose then to progress to the full version of the push-up, as detailed in the video below.
For those looking for an increased challenge and twist on the traditional push-up, trying adding a single-leg raise to the exercise or perhaps considering incorporating a portable piece of equipment, such as a stability ball, TRX or Perfect Pushup.
Jessica Matthews Contributor
Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT500, is a well-known blogger and kinesiology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University. In addition to holding ACE Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach certifications, she is an experienced registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. Jessica is regularly cited as a wellness expert by outlets such as CNN, Shape, Self and The Washington Post.More Blogs by Jessica Matthews »