We are now beginning with challenge #9. We are transitioning into the more physical challenges so buckle your seat belts – this is about to become a bumpy ride. 🙂
Drum roll please…………..this week’s challenge is:
Perform Push Ups Daily M-F
People tend to mixed emotions about push ups. Either they love them or they hate them but regardless of their personal feelings – everyone knows they are the basic exercise in any fitness regimen. They target the chest, biceps and triceps (depending on hand position).
When starting out, if not used to doing them with your full body weight, they can be done on the knees with quick progression to performing them on toes.
I first learned how to do push ups while working as a consultant. I was in my extended stay room watching The Velvet Ropes Concert Tour by Janet Jackson who had amazing abs! I wanted a body like hers so I rolled to the floor and remember what my High School gym teacher told me about them and started on my way. I started on my knees and about a week later felt stronger and began doing them on my toes and I haven’t looked back.
These are the reasons I like push ups:
- You can do them anywhere
- You don’t need gym equipment
- Only uses body weight (unless you get fancy and place a plate on your back)
- Can build up your reps at your own pace
- Improves upper body strength (especially when carrying babies or grocery bags)
- Strengthens abs
These are the variations of push ups one can do to change things up and target different muscle areas:
- Standard push up – hands on the floor under the shoulders, feet extended
- Incline push ups – hands on a higher object then the legs such as a wall or bench with legs extended on the floor
- Decline push ups (my favorite) – feet extended and elevated on an object such as a bench or balance ball and hands are on the floor under shoulders
- Staggered push ups – one hand on the floor higher than the other with feet extended (typically do set # of sets on 1 side and then change hand positions and repeat sets on the other side)
- Dynamic push ups – similar to standard push ups but at the bottom of the movement you push up so hands are in the air, clap and then quickly place hands back beneath you as you lower to the floor again
- Diamond push ups – like standard push ups but the hands form a diamond underneath you (a Delta symbol for the sorors).
- Hands close by side push ups – similar to standard push ups but hands are placed close to the body
- Santana push ups – similar to standard push ups but at the top of the movement twist your body so your right arm is perpendicular to the floor. Alternative sides while performing this exercise.
Here’s the challenge:
1. Advanced: 20 a day on toes (any variation)
2. Intermediate: 10 a day, 5 on toes, 5 on knees (any variation when legs are extended)
3. Beginners: 5 a day on knees (standard)
You only have to do at least 1 set a day so YOU CAN DO IT!