The push up is one of the best and most simple exercise movements you can do. It activates nearly every muscle in your body, which yields toned muscles, increased endurance, and more. Additional benefits of the push up include:
  • Increased functional strength via full body activation
  • Muscle stretching for health and vitality
  • Enhanced cardiovascular system
  • Increased whole body muscle definition
  • Protection of shoulders from injury
  • Improved posture
  • Prevention from lower back injury
A push up can be done by all fitness levels. Beginners can start by pushing against a wall. Then, as strength develops, you might progress down to the floor with knees down, and further progress by doing the push up with legs fully extended.
       
Three levels for a push up exercise:
1) against the wall  2) knees down  3) knees up

To do this exercise, place your palms flat on the wall, floor or mat, and position your hands shoulder-width apart with your fingers facing forward. Shift your weight until your shoulders are positioned directly over your hands. Stiffen your torso by contracting your core/abdominal muscles (“bracing”) and your glute and quadriceps muscles, and align your head with your spine.

Slowly lower your body towards the wall or the floor while maintaining a rigid torso and head aligned with your spine. Do not allow your low back to sag or your hips to hike upwards during this downward phase. Continue to lower yourself allowing your elbows to flare outwards during the lowering phase. Then press upwards through your arms while maintaining a rigid torso and head aligned with your spine.

Thanks to personal trainer Kim Cubbage for sharing this tip.

You can learn this exercise and more with the help of a personal trainer. A trainer can design a program to best meet your individual fitness needs and help you achieve your goals. To get started with a trainer, fill out a personal training inquiry at the Front Desk or contact PWC Fitness Manager Patrice Barklund at 540-445-5395.