It’s a simple exercise that doesn’t require a gym or much space and you can do them just about anywhere. The benefits are huge, and they accrue your entire life.
People like Jack LaLanne still do push ups everyday (and he’s in his 90s). Let’s start with the basic push up, which is one of the ultimate fitness barometers. Push ups support my CME theory (cardiovascular, muscle, endurance) because they engage your whole body, calling on muscle groups in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs. A proper push up tightens the whole body with toes and palms on the floor. Even the very fit can be challenged by lifting their own body weight. Once you get in the habit of doing the basic push up everyday, switch it up.
Elevate your lower body on a workout bench while you do push ups. Once you’ve mastered this, lift one leg while you push out those three sets. Place your hands on a ball (while you keep the body elevated). Be sure you bring your chest to the ball each time. Put one hand on a ball while you push up, then roll the ball over to your other hand and repeat the motion.
Ready for something more advanced? Lay a 25 to 45 pound plate flat on the ground. Do a push up, hold your body with one arm up, and push the plate with your other arm, as far as you can. Push that plate across the gym floor. Be sure to engage your legs. If you’re pushing the plate with your left arm, engage your left leg. This is a great variation if you’re pressed for time, since it simultaneously builds strength and endurance.
Grab a buddy and face each other. At the top of the push up, clap opposing hands. Aim high – and don’t forget to do least 10-15 on each side. If you get bored, do your pushups with one arm. Or clap your hands at the top of the push up. Or come see me. We’ll think of something.
Easy Day. Sidney Wilson.