Since calisthenics came into our lives it seems that we have discovered the gunpowder about the advantages of using our body weight to stay in shape. Fortunately, push-ups have been a part of our lives for years And it is that, who more and who less, has ever had to suffer in Physical Education classes.
However, beyond marathons or endless series, this simple, accessible and functional exercise is a great way to boost, above all, the muscles of the trunk and upper body. Perfect to forget about dumbbells or weight cages, the only limitation that push-ups require is your own weight but still everyone can do push-ups, it’s just about finding the right modulation, being able to do them at all times and even for who have trouble and want get ready for the summer.
Obviously, in any type of exercise there are different levels of demand and of routines with more or less series so it is not necessary that, if you have never done push-ups, in two weeks you look like a United States Marine doing exercises with one hand, but that all this is a progressive adaptation.
You also don’t have to panic about your body weight and think that your arms they won’t be able to get you up -it’s not that weird-, because there ways to make them smoother and without needing so much force. It only consists of finding the best way to do them and that your body does not suffer more than necessary, even when we are over 45 years old.
The three fundamental steps of push-ups
We could establish three basic questions to do any type of exercise, which would be what, how and how much, and in this case to find out we asked Alex Garcia, boutique gym director Fit Club Madrid (fitclubmadrid.com), which explains that “it does not matter if you have a good condition or a sedentary person, since there are ways to do them for both types of people“.
In any case, it is necessary to be clear about what we are going to enhance with the push-ups, the muscle that “intervenes to a greater extent is the pectoral [sobre todo en la bajada] and then to a lesser extent the shoulder would intervene [el deltoides, más en la subida], the trapeze and the triceps. I also know tone the abs and all the deep muscles of the core, that includes the rectus abdominis (the chocolate bar), but also the transverse, as well as the external and internal obliques, since we need our body to be in a certain tension to go up and down.
The how, as in any exercise, matters and this is where we find the main variations to do some good push-ups. Surely you have seen videos where, in addition to one hand, you will see the protagonists do them with their hands very close together -or very far apart-, stretching or lifting one of the legs or even doing them laterally. Obviously they are not for beginners, but they are more proof of the versatility of this exercise, also a fundamental part of the burpees that we already told you in its day.
In the how is where we play most of the success, since a well-done push-up should put our chest to the ground and the gaze should be on the front, not on the ground. In addition, and although it may seem like a mistake, push-ups should be done with the arms horizontal with the shoulders, perfectly aligned, and not with the elbows separated from the body or excessively open.
Remember: straight arms. Then we would move on to the movement, where the inclination must be about 90 degrees of our arms with the body and pay attention to your elbows; if they are separated a lot from the body, it will be a symptom of fatigue.
In any case, the initiation to this exercise does not have to be directly on the ground, but you can do them vertically and against the wall, which will be less tiring or, if we want to go a little further, do them with a slight elevation, like leaning on the bed with our arms.
Whichever mode you choose, also keep in mind that your feet and hands are vitally important. In the case of the first you will find more stability the further apart they are, It is recommended that they be the same width as the shoulders.
In the case of the hands it will be convenient that you separate your fingers well, This way the weight will be distributed better, and that you do not fully support the palm and fingers, but it is enough to support the palm and the tips of the fingers. In addition – and as in any exercise – you must warm up elbows, shoulders and wrists well, stretching with these exercises, since they are not used to lifting so much weight. In this sense, the director of Fit Club Madrid also recommends “warming up with some weight”.
One of the brushstrokes that Álex García gives us to perform simpler push-ups if we are not in the best physical shape is without supporting our feet. “People who start out by doing push-ups start with your knees flat on the floor and lowering only the scapular area to the ground. In this way, they would carry less weight when carrying out the movement, “he says.
In a similar sense, if we do not want to put all the weight on our wrists, or we simply cannot, another good option is to lean on the entire forearm (with closed fists and thumb looking up) since the surface on which we will exert the force will be greater and therefore we will tire less.
How many push-ups should I do
Any exercise needs rest, even among professionals, and push-ups are no exception, although we think that it is a daily and practically homemade exercise. You’ve probably seen a hundred-a-day routines too, or to do them for more than a year with that constancy, which is not always available to all audiences. For this reason, García makes us a couple of points.
The first is that “I would not recommend doing them daily since rest is always essential, so a maximum of three times a week with an average of 15-20 repetitions to about four sets“, he explains. The second would have to do with the pattern, which also adapts to the rest of our schedules.
“A person in good physical tone could do four sets of between 15 and 20 repetitions,” he explains, lowering that guideline for those with a correct physical tone, with good cardio, but without the habit of lifting weights, where it considers sufficient “four series of between eight and 12 repetitions”. Finally, people who are not in good physical shape do not have to be exempt from this practice, recommending in this situation “three series of six or eight repetitions”.
Now that the excuses disappear Do you already know where you are going to start?