Push-ups are a great way to strengthen your upper body. It's not how many push-ups you do, but how well you do each one that will make a difference. Check out the May 2003 issue of Canadian Living Magazine for more push-up techniques.
1. Lie on the floor face down, palms on the floor directly under your elbows, shoulders pulled down and back toward your spine and away from your ears, abdominals lifted up and in to support your spine and keep it straight throughout the push-up. Keep your eyes focused on the floor, breathe in and, as you exhale, push up off the floor from your toes. Tighten your gluteal (buttock) muscles and quadriceps muscles (at the front of the thighs) to help keep your entire body from the hips down straight during the push-up.
2. Exhale as you push up from your hands and toes from the floor. Keep your mind focused on pushing off the floor using your chest muscles and squeeze them as you push your body weight off the floor. Pause at the top without locking your elbows or allowing your hips to fall out of alignment, breathe in, then lower slowly as you exhale.
Rest on the floor between repetitions, or for a greater challenge, lower, pause without resting on the floor and push up to repeat.
Repetitions and Sets
Aim for 10 reps at a time, rest for 30 seconds to one minute and repeat for two to three sets.