Do you add push-ups into your regular workout routine? Granted, they’re not everybody’s favourite type of exercise and women may find them a little more difficult than men as our upper bodies generally aren’t as strong as a man’s. But it’s a great idea to incorporate push-ups into your training schedule 2-3 times a week.
What’s so good about push-ups?
Well, they can be done absolutely anywhere and without any equipment, which makes them an idea body weight exercise to do in the comfort of your own living room. Along with squats, lunges, ab work and planks, they’re brilliant to add to an intense 15/20-minute full body circuit-style workout when you’re stuck for time.
Will they tone me up?
Yes they will really help! Push-ups work a wide range of muscles in your upper body, especially chest muscles, shoulders and triceps. They strengthen and stabilise your core and even work your back muscles and lower body too. They help to improve balance, stability and muscle density and increase your muscle definition,
How do I do them?
Start in an extended arm plank position, as I am below. Ensure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and your neck is in a neutral position to avoid straining it. Pull in your tummy button to your spine and squeeze your bum. Your back should be as flat as possible, with hips down rather than tilted up, to support your lower back. If you do have lower back issues, press-ups can be done on your knees too.
Slowly lower your body down by bending your arms, and keep your core and bum muscles engaged to hold your body in the same straight position. Aim to lower your chest as close to the floor as possible.
For a press-up to work your triceps, keep your elbows close to your body, pointing them down towards your feet as you lower down. For a press-up that works more chest muscles, point your elbows out to the sides.
Raise yourself up again to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times (or as many as you can) and aim for 3-4 sets of reps, taking a short break between each set.
If you’re new to exercise or live a sedentary lifestyle, make sure you speak to your GP before embarking on a new workout routine and always work with a qualified fitness instructor to avoid injury when starting a new regime.