Fit Fridays: Pushups

Let's talk about push-ups.  These bad boys are one of the most efficient upper-body targeted moves because you're actually engaging your entire body.  In addition to working the arms and chest, you get some core work in (think about it, you basically hold plank the whole move!) and muscular engagement through the legs. Plus, this move is extremely beneficial for fitness people and yogis alike.   It can be a tricky one to master so read our tips below and start practicing!

 Top of the pushup: strong plank position

Top of the pushup: strong plank position

How to do a Full Pushup

Before we even get started, let's clear one thing up.  There is no such thing as "girl" pushups and "boy" pushups.  There are girls who can do pushups on their toes, and boys who need to use their knees.  There are full pushups and modified pushups.  That's it.

Start in a tall plank position on your hands and toes.  You want to think of your body as one straight line from toes to shoulders - no sagging butts or down dogs.

Engage through your core and begin to lower your chest down towards the ground.  Your elbows will go out slightly behind you at an angle and your hips will move down with your chest.  Feel your core working here.

Lower down as far as you can support yourself without losing your line.

 Bottom of the full pushup: core and legs engaged, hands supporting you.

Bottom of the full pushup: core and legs engaged, hands supporting you.

From the bottom of the pushup, press into your hands to push the floor away from you and come back to the top.

Be mindful not to reach with your head or nose to help get you deeper into the pushup.

How to do a Modified Pushup

There is no shame in coming down to your knees as you build strength.  It will actually help you get stronger faster than trying to get by on your toes because you'll be able to have a bigger range of motion.

Start in the same tall plank position, and drop your knees right down to the earth from the tall plank.

 Modified pushup: just drop the knees to the earth to be your pivot point instead of toes

Modified pushup: just drop the knees to the earth to be your pivot point instead of toes

From your knees, lower your chest down towards your hands and allow your hips to follow right behind.  Continue to focus on a straight line from your hips to your shoulders as you lower down.  Press strong back to the top.

bottommodifiedpushupside.JPG

We like to recommend starting from your toes when you begin a set and completing as many strong reps as you can (strong meaning big range of motion).  When you tire out, come down to your knees and finish your set modified.  Try 3 sets of 10 reps with one minute of rest between each today!