Jackie Wright: Four great ways to modify the classic pushup
March 14, 2008
Try these four great ways to modify the classic pushup. Two of the modifications are for beginners and two are for those who have mastered the classic pushup.
Beginner Pushup Modifications (in order of difficulty)
Modification No. 1: Wall Pushups
– Begin standing in close proximity to a flat, plain wall.
– Place your hands on the wall more than shoulder-width apart with the arms straight and elbow joints “soft”.
– Walk your feet away from the wall so that your body is on a diagonal line from the hands to the toes keeping your head/neck neutral.
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– Roll onto the balls of your feet and remain there throughout the exercise.
– Engage your inner core unit muscles by pulling your navel toward your spine and drive your shoulders away from your ears engaging your pectoralis muscles.
– Lower your body toward the wall flexing your arms at the elbow joint. Once the entire body has lowered to the point where your nose almost touches the wall, push your entire body back up to the beginning position.
Modification No. 2: Bent-knee pushups
– Begin on your hands and knees.
– Place your hands on the floor more than shoulder-width apart with the arms straight and the elbows “soft”.
– Your knees should be far enough from your hands to create a diagonal line from the top of your head to your knees and your buttocks should not be in the air.
– Lower your body toward the floor flexing your arms at the elbow joint. Once the entire body has lowered to the point where a baseball could fit between your chest and the floor, push your entire body back up to the beginning position.
Modifications for those who have mastered the Classic Pushup (in order of difficulty)
Modification No. 1: Slow Repetition Classic Pushups
– Try four-eight counts down and up.
Modification No. 2: Decline Pushups
– Place your feet on an elevated, stable surface, such as a low bench, with the knees on the floor. Try elevating the feet only two-four inches in the beginning, making certain your core muscles can stabilize your lumbar spine.
– Place your hands on the floor more than shoulder-width apart with the arms straight and the elbows “soft”. Tuck your toes underneath; engage your inner core unit muscles by pulling your navel toward your spine. Now lift the knees off the floor and perform the classic pushup in this position.
For all modifications:
– As always, warm-up prior to exercising.
– If you have any spine or shoulder girdle limitations, check with your physician first.
– Perform all pushups without permitting any “sag” in the mid-section of the body or permitting the head or chest to drop. The entire body lowers and lifts simultaneously.
– Exhale as you push up, two-four counts and inhale as you lower the body down, two-four slow counts.
– Once you can perform one pushup perfectly, not permitting any break in your form; then, add another repetition until you work up to eight repetitions. When you can perform eight repetitions perfectly, then try performing 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, 3 to 4 times per week permitting 30 to 60 seconds rest between sets.
In the weeks to come, look for features on golf, cycling and hiking fitness preparation as well as interval and steady state training tips.
” Jackie Wright can be reached at her e-mail address: email@example.com
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