Pushups are an excellent way for women to build upper-body strength, which makes day-to-day activities such as carrying kids and groceries easier. Pushups are easy to do and don't require any equipment, making them perfect for a busy woman's schedule. You can do pushups anywhere, so fit them in on your lunch break or do a set while you wait for dinner to cook. Proper technique is important for getting the most out of pushups and keeping you from hurting yourself.
Kneel on the floor on your hands and knees. Keep your hands aligned with your shoulders and your fingers facing forward. Your arms should be straight. Use an exercise mat if the floor is hard.
Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling them in and up, as if zipping up a pair of jeans that have gotten too snug around your waist.
Lift your knees off the floor. Your position will be similar to a plank, and you'll be balanced on your palms and toes.
Slowly lower your upper body by bending your elbows. Keep your face down, your glutes engaged for balance and your back straight. Arching or dipping your back increases the risk of injury and reduces the benefit of pushups. Stop when your chest nears the floor. Your elbows should remain close to your body or just slightly bowed outward.
Hold the position for a second or two. This increases the benefit to your chest, arms and shoulders.
Press upward with your arms to return your body to the starting position. Keep your head in line with your back and keep your spine straight throughout.
Items you will need
- Exercise mat
- MayoClinic.com suggests doing two or three 20- to 30-minute strength training routines each week. Include at least one set of 12 repetitions, and you'll start seeing results in two or three weeks.
- If traditional pushups are too difficult, lower your knees to the ground during the move. This makes pushups easier, and you can transition to a knees up position as you gain strength and endurance in your upper body.
- Talk to your doctor before starting a new workout routine, particularly if you are new to exercise or have physical limitations.
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