Push-ups are a great way to strengthen your arms, chest and shoulders. They help strengthen muscles and bones, improve balance and posture, and help prevent lower back injury.
Best of all, push-ups don’t require special equipment or a gym membership to perform. Vin Faraci, Copley Hospital’s Certified Athletic Trainer, says that push-ups include many muscle groups working together during the exercise. If it has been a while since you have performed a push-up, Faraci suggests you start with modified push-ups.
To perform a full body push-up you need to be able to move between 70-75% of your bodyweight. For a person that weighs 150 pounds, that is equal to moving 105-113 pounds during the exercise. Performing a modified push-up from the knees, your body weight percentage decreases to 54-62% or 79-93 pounds of resistance. For those requiring an exercise with less resistance to move, Faraci suggests starting with a push-up against a wall or from a counter top. As with any exercise, proper body form is important in preventing injury.
The following is the basic sequence and form you should use:
Place your weight on your hands and feet (hands and knees if performing modified push-up.) Your spine and head should be in good alignment.
Place your hands just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with palms on the floor.
Lower your upper body to the floor, bending at the elbows, then rise back to the start position. Keep your head still and your eyes looking down.
Breath in on the way down and exhale on the way up.
Keep your abdominal muscles tight by pulling your belly button in toward your spine.
Copley provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services for people of all ages and ability. Clinics in Morrisville, Stowe (in Stoweflake Mountain Resort) and Hardwick for your convenience. Contact us to learn more: 888-8303 | copleyvt.org/rehabilitation.