Your body is designed to be able to lift itself. From the time you learned to walk, you had to push yourself off the ground. This is the basis of a push up.
A push up is literally the movement from pushing yourself off of the ground in the prone, or chest facing downward, fashion. While most people consider a push up a chest exercise, it is actually a total body movement. This bodyweight exercise is critical in building upper body strength by utilizing your chest, shoulders, and arms in unison while stabilizing your front and back core muscles for support. Did you know that you even need to use your glutes and lower body to adequately perform a push up?
When performing your perfect push up, you will aim to maintain the plank form that we mastered in Week 1, as you lower your chest towards the ground. Once you reach your desired depth, push the floor away from your body as you return to the high plank position.
To ensure that you don’t feel any residual aches and pains from push ups, make sure to keep your nose pointed at an angle from the ground, as if you were looking at the corner where the wall meets the floor; never let your nose point downward. Also, As you widen your arms and feet, you require less core stability and therefore will have less of a challenge during the motion. For a more challenge, greater strength, and different muscle engagement, lessen the space between both arms and legs. And lastly, try getting off of your knees. By performing a singular repetition on an incline (push up on an elevated platform) or to the floor then driving your hips up immediately into a downward dog position, you will reset your hips, you reduce the pressure on the lower back and abdominals, and you will notice greater strength gains in the long run.
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