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The push-up holds tremendous fitness benefits. It requires (and builds) strong abs and erectors while fully engaging the upper body, including the shoulders, chest, and triceps.
It is an outstanding movement, and it’s time to incorporate it into your routine.
This week, a simple bodyweight challenge. You’ll do 10 sets of push-ups in one day.
Space them out as you see fit, but you must complete all sets between the time you wake up and the time you go to sleep.
- Beginner: Do 10 Sets of 5 Push-Ups
- Intermediate: Do 10 Sets of 10 Push-Ups
- Advanced: Do 10 Sets of 20 Push-Ups
Be sure to select a level suitable to your fitness level.
To perform a push-up:
- Start in a plank. Arms straight, with your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line. Abs are tight and engaged.
- Bend your arms, keeping your elbows against (or very near) your sides, descending until your chest touches the ground.
- Push back up to a plank, maintaining the straight line between shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
To reduce the difficulty of the push-up:
- Maintain the form outlined above, but place your hands on an elevated object. You could start with your hands on a chair (making sure it is secure and won’t slide). Choose a higher or lower object based on your success in performing a full range of motion push-up — a higher object is easier, a lower object is harder. Be sure to maintain your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line, regardless of the height of your hands.
- A less desirable option (but still valid) — begin with the form outlined above, but drop your knees to the ground. This will effectively shorten your body length, reducing the mass moved, thereby making the push-up easier. If you choose this option, be sure to maintain shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line. (Why is this option less desirable? Dropping to your knees in the push-up reduces core engagement, minimizing the role of the abs and lower back in the movement, limiting the overall fitness benefit).