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Power of the push-up

Get down a give me 20! Didn't you hear this when you screwed up at practice?

Want to be has strong has me? Do push ups.
Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images

However, you should view push-ups has a reward for your upper body, not a punishment.

Push-ups safely increase upper body strength while carving your core simultaneously. After all, pushing things away from you is a natural movement and is effective when you follow the instructions below.

1. Push up

A.Get yourself into a push-up position by starting on your hands and knees, arms straight, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Extend your legs behind you, hip-width apart.

B.With you weight resting on your hands and toes, squeeze your butt to put your lower back in neutral. Form a double chin. Lower yourself to the floor keeping your upper arms close to the body. Your chest should touch the ground before your head does.

C.Push back to the starting position using your chest, triceps and shoulders. That’s one rep. Do 8-12 reps with perfect form. If your lower back begins to sag or you’re unable to complete all the repetitions, do the incline push-up.

2. Incline push up

Push-ups on the knees are useless. This takes the core out the equation. Using an elevated surface allows you to work your core while building strength for the standard push up.

A. Find a sturdy incline surface like a chair, couch, wall or bench. Use an incline surface that allows you to complete 8-12 reps. Experimentation is the key here.

B. Follow the instructions above. When working with an incline surface, your hands are slightly forward from your shoulders. That’s ok.

C. When you can do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps, lower the incline surface (you can use phone books) so you can get closer to your goal of doing the standard push up.

You’re one step closer to becoming a push-up master. Now get down and give me 20!

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