Pushups are one of those exercises with which most of us have a love-hate relationship. It's certainly easy to hate them. They're hard to do! However, when you achieve your goal – or even beat it – pushups are hugely rewarding.
Still, if you want to get seriously fit, they remain one of the best exercises to keep in your routine. They are a surprisingly effective total-body move. Even better, they can be changed up with tons of variations to better target different zones. In this way, you can get the most out of your major muscle groups without the risk of a plateau.
This helps to explain why your bootcamp instructor always insists on including them. It's not that he or she wants to look like a military drill sergeant from the movies. These exercises are actually worthwhile.
Still, whether you're brand new to exercise or are a professional athlete, you need to do them correctly to benefit. Many women have not been properly trained in pushups. Among all the fitness classes women take the most, few feature pushups as a central exercise.
Therefore, it's up to you to make sure you're doing them right to get the best possible results.
Consider the following tips to getting the most out of your pushups. By following them, you might find you'll start adding more love to that love-hate relationship.
• Begin on the floor – If you start your pushup on the floor instead of from the highest pose, you're more likely to keep the right position. Starting flat on the floor sets your body in the right position that you can then maintain throughout the rest of the move. This way, you'll give your core the best workout.
• Know where to put your hands – Your hands should be on the floor just slightly more than shoulder-width apart. This is the standard pushup position. Wait until you've mastered it before you aim for a wider or more narrow pushup position as it will access different muscles.
• Modify as needed – When the basic pushup is too tough or when it starts to feel too easy, modify the move. Learn how to accurately switch up the basic move to make it suit your fitness level. You may find that starting on your knees, instead of a plank, will make the move more achievable. Other people benefit from doing pushups while standing, pressing against a wall. This is a great alternative for people who are healing from injuries.
• Flatten your butt – Many women naturally aim their butts up into the air when doing a pushup. The goal is to achieve a flat plant shape. If your back is not flat, you will not properly work your core. Since a core workout is one of the main reasons for doing a pushup in the first place, it's important to flatten your butt down to a plank position.
For a much needed boost your your energy levels, we highly recommend taking a fitness supplement with energizing ingredients such as caffeine. This allows you to get pumped to do those push-ups without adding high amounts of sugar and fat contained in most coffee beverages.