Tag Archives: chest exercise

Drop and Give Me Ten: How to Do a Proper Push-up

Usually when non-fitness people (whatever that means) hear the word “push-up,” they cringe in fear and run away. So stop! Don’t run! The push-up is a wonderful exercise for strengthening your body and you can literally do it almost everywhere. You don’t need any fancy equipment or gym, you don’t even need a proper ground–you could do it in the mud, if you preferred.

However, when people bravely attempt the push-up, their form is often wrong. Not only will this not give you the proper exercise, you can injure yourself if not positioned properly. So let’s get through this and do it the right way. There are various forms of the push-up, but I’m showing you the basic push-up.

Alright, find yourself an area on the ground where you have room to fully extend. Start on your hands and knees and face the floor. Extend your legs, your toes/top of the foot should be the floor. Now, have your hands shoulder-width apart (or a little bit wider). It’s a good thing to stack your shoulders right above your elbows and wrists. This ensures joint and bone stability, so that nothing simply gives out. So now you’re in the starting position! 

English: an exercise of chest

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t describe how extremely important it is to have your body rigid like a plank. I don’t want to see your hips drooping or raising above the rest of your body. It should be a direct line–think graphs. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong and if you continue to do so, it’s going to throw your body out of whack.

Now it’s time to try the actual exercise of lowering yourself as close to the ground as possible. Keep your elbows in as you slowly, keeping the hips in line with the body, lower yourself to the ground (without actually hitting it). Check your form out–is your body a straight line still? What about your neck? So often, people think they’re doing the push-up properly, and you see their neck drooping. Just because your neck can hit near the ground, doesn’t mean you’re doing it properly. So as your whole body is coming down, make sure your neck and head stay aligned with your body. It’s extremely important for the exercise and the health of your body.

Line art drawing of push up.

Line art drawing of push up. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now the tough part is coming back up. Keeping your form pristine (see above), use your chest muscles to push yourself up to starting position. This means your head and hips are still aligned with your torso and legs. And there you go. Congrats. Do 4 sets of as many as you can do. It will be extremely difficult at first, but the more you do them, the stronger your chest and arms will get. And ladies, I want to see you doing these too! It’s important to build our upper body. I do them, so can you.

Deutsch: Liegestützender Mann in gelben Shorts...

Deutsch: Liegestützender Mann in gelben Shorts. Animiert. Verzögerung 0,2 s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now there is a variation of the push-up for those who need it:

Knee push-ups. These are for those who are too weak and need more practice for the regular push-up. On this one, instead of resting on your toes, rest on your knees. Even though you are on your knees and hands, you still need to extend your body so that it is like a straight line and you are bring your torso down, not just your head or your shoulders.

Keep it up and work on those pecs! You will get to the regular push-up, and once you do, keep good form and get strong! Hey, maybe even make it a Resolution to get to a certain # by each month. Good luck!

Cheers!

Work Those Push Muscles: Chest and Triceps Workout

So there are some workout match-ups that tend to be our favorites. One of those favorites is the sweet chest and triceps pair. It’s a great combination and leaves you exhausted afterwards (my arms are very upset with me now that I am typing). So Alana, you’re probably saying, why is it a good combination? Lemme spit some reasons at ya (not literally, come on).

Triceps brachii, large arm model - Muscles of ...

Triceps brachii

1. Convenience: being able to do your chest and triceps at once can really open your workout schedule. This is especially for the people who tend to try to workout every day or every other day. It gives you a few days to work on other muscle groups without worrying about overworking those muscles. Because ultimately, that will lead to injury. And that’s a no-no.

2. Effective: you’re going to get a much better chest and triceps workout if you work them together. If you’re doing it properly, every chest exercise you do will work your triceps a bit and every triceps exercise will work your chest. That’s just how our body works.

3. Power: it makes you feel huge. Think about the strength, effort, and power that goes into benching.

Anyhow, there’s a few reasons for you. Now let’s get to our actual workout. We have a few pictures for you of yours truly.

1. We started out with a super-set (one exercise after the other, no rest) of push-ups and triangle push-ups, working our chest in the first and triceps in the latter. You don’t need any equipment for this, so no excuses! Go until failure.

2. Our next super-set was incline chest press and incline pec fly. This really requires good strength and power (especially chest press). Unforunately, no pictures of us doing this. For chest press, you sit on the inclined bench, and push your arms straight up.

For pec fly, get in the same seated position. But start your arms out, like you’re going to give a tree a hug, and bring inwards (you tree-hugger!).

3. For this we didn’t do a super-set, because we wanted to spot each other for bench press. Personally, I’ve lost a lot of my strength, and can’t bench nearly what I used to (you’ll see low weight in the picture, the bar = 45 lbs). It’s just good to be there and spot for each other to get the weight up and getting help getting it down. We did decline bench press. Go for a good weight and, as usual, go til failure.

4. For our last super-set we combined triceps cable press and double-hand triceps extension. This really killed our triceps (in a good way!). For anyone uncomfortable with triceps exercises, I find that the cable press is an easy pathway to get comfy with working those triceps. You position yourself with the feet shoulder-width apart, facing the cable, and press down the steel triangle or horse rope down and bring your arms back to 90 degrees.

For triceps extension, grab a good weight and place behind your head and do vertical raises.

5. And lastly, to end our muscle workout, we did a cable cross-press. This will get a good pinching burn in your chest and triceps. We juiced out the rest of our strength through these. Always go to the end of your workout. Never stop pushing. Unless you feel sharp pains, THEN STOP. Stand away from the cables, grab each cable in each hand and cross over your hands.

For this entire workout, we did four sets of everything and pushed to failure. It could range from 8 to 100, it’s up to your body and your strength. We ended it with some excellent twenty-minute bouldering where Chris finished a new route that had been challenging him for weeks!

Please let us know if you have any questions! Cheers!