This week, we’re going to start looking at strength training. Strength training provides a number of significant benefits including weight loss and reducing your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. And when you work to build strength, you provide support for your joints, which makes future injuries less likely to happen (no shoulder or hip replacements for you!). And while you will not get bulky, (you’d have to spend hours a day in the gym to achieve that), it can be nice to see definition in your muscles.
Now strength training can include weights and barbells, but it doesn’t have to. Body weight is always the first and best place to start and you may choose to stay there. I absolutely love body weight workouts.
There are 4 basic movements to work on and today we’re going to start with a push-up.
The push-up is really difficult for many people, especially women, who tend to lack upper body strength. However, this straightforward movement improves strength in your shoulders and core, which translates to better functional movements and a reduced risk of shoulder/back injury as you age.
How to do a push-up:
- Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Straighten your arms and legs – or if you’re doing a push-up from your knees, make sure your spine is one long line.
- Lower your body until your chest touches the floor, keeping your shoulders in line with your hips.
- Keep your elbows pointed back toward your feet (rather than angling out like wings)
- Press your hands into the floor and push yourself back up.
Keep your core and legs tight as you push-up. No sagging middle.
Take a deep breath at the top of each push-up.
If doing push-ups from your toes, widen your feet a bit.
If knee push-ups are too easy and toes are too hard. Do a push-up to a counter or a box maintaining an aligned spine and keeping your elbows at your sides. Note: depending on the angle, your chest may not touch the box or wall at the bottom of the push-up.
How many push-ups were you able to do?
What type of push-ups did you do? For example, to a wall, from your knees?
Write this down because we will retest and it’s fun to see strength improvements!