Welcome to May! Hopefully you all enjoyed the April Abs Challenge. How many did you end up doing? My personal tally was 4,000. Now that we have worked our lower body with the 3000 Squat Challenge in March and sculpted our core with the April Abs Challenge can you guess what’s next? I’ll give you a clue; we will be working from the ground up. Keep reading to find out more.
May is the 1000 Push Up Challenge!
Uh oh! Push-ups! It’s most people’s least favorite strength exercise. I know it’s not one of my personal favorites. When most people think about doing push-ups they think of doing the traditional push-ups. When was the last time we did traditional here at LMC Fitness? We will be sure to spice up the challenge this month to make it interesting. Throughout the month I will share with you some of my favorite push-up exercises. A few of them we might have seen before and, if so, let it be a refresher. Don’t worry, no matter what your fitness level is you will be able to complete the exercises. I will show you a certain type of push up for each group.
BASIC PUSH-UP (Targets: Chest, Shoulders, Back)
- Start on the ground on your hands and knees.
- Put your arms in front of you and space your hands so that they rest on the outside of your shoulders.
- Press your hands into the ground flat with your fingertips pointing straight out away from you.
- Stick your legs out behind you with your toes on the floor. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your toes and hands. Keep your legs perfectly straight and spaced evenly apart.
- Stretch your neck out and hold it in place. Do not move it up and down or allow it to droop while engaging in the push-ups. Keep your eyes focused down or straight ahead of you.
- Keep your body straight and don’t allow any part of your shoulders, hips or belly to droop toward the floor. Pretend your body is a straight line. Keep it that way. Begin the push-up by bending your elbows and taking a deep breath.
- Control your body as you lower it toward the ground, feeling the tension in your arms and abdominal muscles.
- Breathe out, then push your body back up, bringing your arms back to a straight position, but don’t lock your elbows.
- Repeat as many times as you can, maintaining this proper push-up form.
Tips: Hand placement is key to targeting a certain muscle group. Spreading your hands beyond shoulder-width during a push-up generally targets the pectoral and shoulder muscles. Performing push-ups with your hands placed shoulder-width apart or closer in targets the upper arms. Another variation is to keep your elbows tucked in to your torso, bending back towards your lower body instead of out to the sides.
You can also perform pushups on your knees which is just as effective as long as your form is correct.
PUSH-UP ON A STABILITY BALL
- Position yourself into a push-up position with your hands about shoulder-width apart, back straight, and shins on top of the ball.
- While keeping your back straight and the ball still, lower yourself towards the ground with your arms until your face is a few inches above the floor.
Tips: Be sure not to flare your elbows out too much which will put more stress on your joints.
MEDICINE BALL PUSH-UPS
- Start in traditional push-up position, with the arms placed a little wider than the shoulders and your toes on the floor to form a straight plank with your body.
- Place the medicine ball under one palm to create an uneven surface.
- Perform a push up normally, but focus tension on the chest as you straighten the elbows to return to the beginning of the exercise.
Tips: You can make this exercise more advanced by rolling the ball back and forth alternating sides between each repetition.
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO:
I hope you now have some new and exciting push-up exercises to help start your push-up challenge of right. We are all going to have some nice toned arms once we’re done. This week look forward to some great triceps exercises to help sculpt your arms, nutrition and photos.
Yours in Fitness,