The push up is one of many age-old exercises that will never go out of style. It is an introductory move and often used as a base line to test ones level of strength. When I first started training, back when I was skinny/fat, Are you a slave to the scale?? I could only perform about 8 “girly push ups” from my knees. People, we all start somewhere and it truly doesn’t matter where you begin, it’s all about how you evolve! After all, not everyone is genetically blessed with “Incredible Hulk” like upper body strength. Not everyone is in training for the title fight against Apollo Creed and can pound out one arm-push ups! It takes time to perfect the push up.
The push up will remain a staple plyo-metric exercise till the end of time because it is super effective and efficient. Before I understood the science behind a push up I just assumed it worked the chest only. The push up can literally sculpt and tone the arms, back and core in a matter of weeks. The push up targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and abdominals. And if you know me, you know that I’m all over a good two for one, or in this case a five for one!
“Gosh, I just couldn’t find a place or space to do my push-ups”, said no one ever!!!
Another reason I’m so strung out on the push up is because it can be performed almost anywhere and in a plethora of ways. If you have a body’s length of space indoor or outdoor you have room to get in some push ups. No excuses. Remember the movie and true story, “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith? Proof and point that even if you live in a subway bathroom you have ample space to do some push ups. Don’t be embarrassed to get your push up on at the park or an airport. Don’t be shy if your waiting at the train station or need a break from the computer in your cubicle.
Once you progress and can complete 15-20 reps x 3 sets with out struggle its time to advance and sass up your push up. Your muscles will develop and gain strength. Therefore adding a new component forces the body to adapt which will fire up a different muscle group. New movements can easily be altered to FIT beginners, intermediate or advanced workout warriors. This video below is a small sample of my personal favorite variations that I use to sass up my push up.
The video clip demonstrates use of a med ball to enhance the push up. These are challenging and advanced moves. A modification for an intermediate would be to use a bench or stack of books or anything sturdy to elevate the hand.
Now, once you feel that you have mastered the two handed push up challenge yourself to the Rocky Balboa! Spread your legs wide, center yourself and work up to the one handed push up. You gotta start somewhere. Do you have a favorite push up?