What’s your favorite thing?
I love learning someone’s favorite things because these things can tell me a lot about who they are. Let me give you a few examples. My favorite color is blue. To be more specific, my favorite color is Carolina blue. I am an alumnus of the University of North Carolina, home of Carolina blue and white. My favorite vacations are ones that involve warm temperatures and large bodies of water. If and when I relocate from Virginia, I will likely move closer to the equator. My favorite extra-curricular activity is group exercise, so now you know that I’m an extrovert. And more specifically, my favorite exercise is the pushup, and now you know that I like to be efficient. Maybe a bit odd, but efficient.
Pushups are considered by many to be one of the best overall exercises available because they require no special equipment, they work many different muscle groups, and they can be done in various positions and at various levels. In other words, pushups are available, efficient, and doable. Follow these progressive steps to build your perfect pushup. Not THE perfect pushup, but YOUR perfect pushup.
The key is to begin at the level that is right for you and build up from there. Whether you are working out on your own or in your Body & Soul class, there is some level of a pushup that you have the ability to perform. You may need to begin by strengthening your chest and arm muscles with a seated Chest Press exercise with an elastic band. From there, your goal is to progress to a pushup at a wall or tabletop or bench or step. Each of these levels will make the pushup exercise a bit more challenging. Work your way from one level to the next until you’ve mastered each one. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your ability to adapt and demonstrate greater strength through the process. Once you’re ready to challenge yourself further, move on to a modified forearm plank, and then a full forearm plank. Planks increase your core strength, which becomes extremely important when you move the pushup exercise to the floor. Now you’re ready for modified (knee) pushups, followed by modified single-knee pushups, and finally the full (from-your-toes, military-style, parallel-to-the-floor, I’ve-got-this!) pushup.
Enjoy the process of strength training, as you build YOUR perfect pushup. And who knows? They may become your new favorite thing!