Fitness tip: doing push-ups |

Fitness tip: doing push-ups

Henry Kliebenstein
For the Health of It

The king of the upper body exercises happens to be the push-up with the pull up coming in a very close second. Anytime you are performing an exercise that works major muscle groups like the pushup as compared to, say, a biceps curl you are getting more for your buck. In this case most of the muscles of the chest, arms, back, abdominals, legs and the muscles of the back are all working together to achieve the desired effect of the exercise. Another great aspect of this one is that it requires no special equipment or outfitting. You can perform these in your PJs if you are so inclined. With the time constraints we all feel just trying to get through daily life, this type of exercise is extremely beneficial.

Begin the exercise by getting down on the floor to a kneeling position. Place your hands on the floor in front of you slightly wider than shoulder width. Next take a step back so that you are stretched out horizontally and your body is now resting on your palms and your toes.

From this starting position slowly lower your body toward the floor inhaling as you go down until your stomach just touches the floor. Pause for a second and push your body back up to the starting position exhaling as you do so. You have just completed a push-up.

If you are a first timer with this exercise and you do not possess the upper body strength to do one push-up you may want to start out on your knees rather than on your toes.

Start out by placing your palms on the floor slightly in front of you and rest on your knees. With your legs bent, cross your ankles and lift your feet off the floor about six inches and try doing the exercise from this position. You will be amazed how fast you will develop strength in you arms, chest and shoulders, and in doing so you will be able to do a full pushup in no time at all.

As with all exercises never sacrifice form for repetitions. If you feel your body tiring limit the range of motion to insure a safe workout. I recommend starting out with five sets of 10 to 15 repetitions and increasing as you see fit. Have fun, work hard and stay hydrated. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the info below.

Henry Kliebenstein is an International Sports Sciences Association certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Therapist, and Specialist in Performance Nutrition, training in his private studio in Truckee, and can be reached by calling 587-3886 or by email at

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