Welcome to April’s 30 day push up challenge! In my opinion, push-ups are one of the best exercises for the shoulders, chest, and triceps (the back of the upper arm). Push-ups also help with core strength — an added bonus!
Since you are at varying fitness levels, I encourage each of you to start off this challenge at a place or movement that feels comfortable. Push-ups can be modified so that anyone at any level can start building strength — and eventually work up to a full push-up! Finally, invite friends and family to do this challenge with you. After all, fitness is more fun in numbers!
Below is a step-by-step for push-ups. You will have rest days built in to recover for the next repetition increase, so feel free to really challenge yourself on this one!
Always remember to check with your doctor before starting a new physical activity program. While exercise is recommended for almost anyone, certain conditions can be worsened by specific types of exercise. Remember to always stop if you feel pain or have any unusual symptoms.
- Start on the floor and set your hands at a distance slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Feet should be about shoulder-width apart. Depending on your level of strength, you may choose a wider stance in your feet. The wider the feet, the more stable you will feel when starting out.
- You will want to think of your body as a straight line throughout the movement, so make sure your hips are not up in the air or sinking down.
- Finally, position your head to be looking slightly forward in front of you. Always avoid looking straight down and never tuck your chin.
- To start the push-up, slowly lower your body until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle, keeping your elbows close to the body. Many people fan their arms and elbows out for the push-up and it can put a lot of stress on the shoulder. Try to avoid doing that.
- Pause for a moment and explode or “push-up” back into the starting position.
There are several ways to modify this movement. The progression would be starting off with wall push-ups, moving to push-ups on the desk or chair and then working up to knee push-ups. Once you have knee push-ups, you can head into the regular push-ups.
Join the challenge and show us your progress. Tag your photos on Instagram and Twitter with #MonthlyMovesApril.