Tag Archives: pushup

The Perfect Addition to Your Home Gym

New year, new you, right? Well, we’re not quite there, but two of the most challenging weeks of the year are separating you from 2018. Most people focus on their struggle with large family meals and tins full of cookies, but why bother stressing about that when you can focus on something else… something rewarding

What’s this crazy rewarding thing we’re talking about? Well, it’s simple and it is all based on performance. Looking in the mirror feels good; we don’t disagree with you there, but nothing feels better than feeling better! Huh? When you’re physically capable of something, especially something you were never capable of doing before, you feel amazing. 

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21-Day Shred Time

So it’s the last three weeks of prepping for my contestand it’s time to shred! I’ve been doing really well eating and exercising, working hard (except for my little ice cream vacation). It just so happened that at this time, I saw that celebrity trainer, Ashley Conrad, had a 21-day “Clutch Cut” programPerfect. With my main coach, Chris (aka Hungry), giving me the thumbs up to do this program, I was excited to get started. Click on that link and you’ll see the program. It’s a lot of high-intensity stuff, cardio, lifting, and nutrition. You need all three to make a difference.

Building up my back and shoulders

Building up my back and shoulders

I just finished Day 3 which was a rest day. I’m not a huge proponent of rest days for myself during this contest, especially on week days, but I did the best I could. All I did on Day 3 was run a mile and do some core. No lifting. Day 1 was an intense circuit with 15 minutes of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) on the treadmill. All in all it was probably a little over an hour for the workout.  And it was good. I would love to do this with my clients. I would recommend it to anyone who’s trying to build muscle and burn fat. Here it is:

  • Clean and press
  • Overhead med ball throws
  • DB rear lunge
  • Pushups
  • Bench dips
  • Sprint in place
  • Bodyweight squat
  • Lat pull down
  • Med ball jumping jacks
  • Incline pushup
  • DB curl
  • Lateral raise
  • 1 arm row

photo 1 (17)

For pictures and instructions, check out the link above. For this circuit, you are supposed to do 4-6 sets (I only had time for 4, but got a killer workout) with 30 sec rest in between (I didn’t take the rest to increase cardio). It was great and hit all parts of my body. Two days later, my hamstrings are still sore and those are sometimes hard to hit for me so yay! There was also a core circuit at the end you can check out.

Day 2 was a killer cardio workout. I used the treadmill (she says you can use treadmill, stairmaster, bike, or whatever). It was 25 minutes of intervals:

  • 60 second walk
  • 30 second jog
  • 60 second sprint

It was important to put your all into this and I did. I did so much so that I had a headache for the rest of the day and was exhausted (oops for working out early). It really worked me hard, and that’s what HIIT does, which is why I LOVE it.

photo 2 (12)

For the nutrition part, I’m just doing what I have been, eating clean: lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Keeping me strong and healthy. She says to go gluten-free, but I don’t completely do that. I’ve followed my plan and it’s working well this program. If you’re looking to build muscle and cut fat, do this program! I’d love to have someone to do it with anyone for the next 3 weeks–the more the merrier! Use this Fit-approved program to stay hungry and fit!

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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!