I used to teach at a facility where children were accessible to their parents. In fact, the children would often mimic our workouts. On slow nights, the children joined their parents. Little ones are always watching, and of course I encouraged them to be active with us. One evening we were doing push ups. As always, I was showing the options to the group. This spunky young lady, about eight years old, yelled out, “Those are girlie push ups!” I was on a microphone and she was right next to me, so this proclamation could be heard by the entire facility. I quickly instructed the class to “Keep going!” and had a chat with my little friend.
I pointed out the different variations of push ups in our class that were occurring as we spoke. I showed her the women that were doing “on-the-toe” push ups and the men that were needing to use the option to perform their pushups. I let her know that just because she is a girl, that does not mean she has to do pushups on her toes. We use those options to get stronger or heal from injuries. After our quick, one minute chat; my friend jumped on her toes and pumped out some pushups with a proud smile on her face.
Do you get the feeling of utter dread when your trainer speaks the words “push ups”? Do you have flashbacks of your coach punishing you for being late for practice or losing the ballgame? Why do you think that is? The push up is such a versatile exercise.
WHY PUSH UPS? This isn’t just an exercise for your upper body or just your lower body. This is a full body exercise. It works your biceps, triceps, shoulders, delts, abs, lats, glutes, etc., if done properly. This is not the same kind of workout that can be replicated by doing a bench press, although some think it is. The push up engages multiple muscle groups throughout your body at once as you push your bodyweight up. While proper form is important for the bench press to prevent injuries, a press can be completed without quite easily without engaging those muscle groups not needed to press up the weight.
HAPPY BACK, HAPPY ABS! Keep that core engaged!!! Have you ever head your trainer tell you to pull that naval to your spine? A strong core is vital to a happy back. The push up should always include a nice tight core. By including this you will notice that you will stand taller and your posture will improve. Is it because of that pride? Or is it because stronger abs lead to a stronger back and less back pain? I don’t know about the statistics of the first point, but the second one is true. When you strengthen that core, your back becomes stronger. As debilitating as back injuries are, I think we need to do more core strengthening!
NO EXCUSE EXERCISE. Push ups require no equipment, little space and no fancy gym membership. It’s the perfect NO EXCUSE EXERCISE! Which brings me to CHALLENGE TIME!!!
That’s right… We are on our way to 100 PUSH UPS! In this challenge, I want you to build your strength UP to the end goal of those toe push ups. You can find different variations on how to build your strength in this video as you complete this challenge. Proper form is key! I urge you to try as many “on-the-toe push ups”as you can, before you take it to your knees. Of course, if you have an injury or medical condition, please check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise program. In the above referenced video, you will see an option for a weight disbursement push up. This is also another option for you to try prior to walking out to your knees! Try it! You will be surprised just how many of these push ups you can do!
If you are taking my classes, I strongly urge you to participate in this push up challenge starting May 1st. We just might have a special guest make an appearance the first week of June where these push ups will come in handy! 😉
Remember! It’s You vs. You!