The Power of Push-Ups

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Visiblepushups abdominal muscles, a firm tight chest and horse shoe triceps all suggest upper body strength and there is no better exercise to perform to achieve this look than push-ups.

The push up, one of the simplest and best exercises you can perform, is regularly used in the gym, the school yard and Special Forces training camps.

It’s not unusual to find that Bodyweight Training enthusiasts do sets of up to 100 or more push-ups from time to time. This method has proven very effective and the reason the modern military uses them to build seriously hard and strong muscle.

Push-ups are very similar to bench presses movement wise but with no bench to press for support.

Like all exercises, push-ups require proper form:

You must keep your body tight…including your abdominal’s. pushup

Your elbows must be kept at a 45 degree angle at the sides of your body. Only your chest should hit the floor…never your face or thighs.

Take a deep breath as you lower your chest to the floor.

Exhale as you press up.

Repeat.

It is helpful when doing push-ups to engage the help of your mind by visualizing your palm pushing against the floor while doing your push-ups as a means to building more explosive power.

For variety and upper chest emphasis, place your feet on a chair or an inflatable exercise ball when you are performing. This focuses the emphasis of the push-up more on the upper chest and shoulder and don’t be afraid of doing multiple sets as it has proven to produce fantastic results.

And, let’s not forget the glutes which help to maintain the spinal posture throughout the movement by locking the lumbar spine and the hips together reducing the extension of the lower back. If you perform push-ups with your butt in the air you are not getting the glutes to fire up and do their job and you won’t experience the enviable “tight butt” as a result.

Technique when performing a proper push-up is mandatory. You cannot let gravity do the work for you…even though it’s called a push-up you are also responsible for the descent. Both the ascent and descent build strength.

A very common mistake that happens when performing a push-up is to start with the hands too far apart. This shortens the distance from the floor to the body and puts more stress on your chest and shoulders. The palms of your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders for maximum effectiveness. It makes the push-up harder to perform which makes you stronger in the end.

Remember these few basic considerations in performing a “good” push-up: your chest must touch the floor without leading with your face, your elbows must be full extended at the top and your spine must maintain a constant position and not shift around.

One of the best things about the push up is that it is not only a very effective exercise that can be performed nearly anywhere, it is also extremely versatile and allows for a lot of variation so you won’t get bored.

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