Push Your Way Up to Fitness

by Joe Lawrence | October 15th, 2009 | Eating Tips, Exercises, Strength Training

Strapped for cash?  Still want to get into shape? The all time best exercise for fitness is the push-up.  It can be done anywhere and by anybody.  There are hundreds of variations to build differing muscle groups and to add challenge or even decrease the stress placed on your muscles.  The push-up is king.

Most research shows each traditional push-up is the same as lifting 50-70% of your body weight.  That is a pretty good workout for most, if they only did 3 sets of 30.  A man weighing 180 lbs would have lifted a total of 8,100 pounds in a short workout.  Not too shabby for the good ol’ flabby.

To make push-ups easier, do the ‘girl’ push-up or the wall push-up.  These place less stress on the muscles and help those who can’t do them traditionally.  I would suggest using these styles to build up some strength to do traditional push-ups because the traditional style works your core at the same time.

For those looking for even more of a challenge, try placing your feet on a chair or medicine ball.  The higher elevation shift the center of gravity and causes you to push more of your body weight.  Medicine balls force you to use your core muscles even more to balance your stance.

Three other great variations are the Spiderman and polar bear.  The Spiderman is a full body workout.  You start in the traditional up position and as you go down, you drive you left knee to your left elbow keeping your leg parallel to the ground.  As you come back up, you straighten your leg back to the starting point and then do the same with your right.

Polar bear push-ups start in the down position.  As you come to the up position you raise your left hand straight to the ceiling and hold that position for a three count.  Then put your hand right back to the ground.  Go down and then back to the up position.  Raise your right hand to the ceiling and continue.

Save your money, skip the gym, do push-ups.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.