Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I Love Push-Ups! ~Said No One EVER (Except Me!) with Group Fitness Instructor Lisa Schwarz

Lol! It’s true, if you know me, you know I love push-ups – and I always have! Why? It’s one of the best total body exercises out there! The #1 question I get asked at the gym is, "How do I get better at doing push-ups?" Know how you get better at push-ups? By doing them! But don’t despair, if you’re not able to get on your toes to do them – that’s OK! If you can only do a couple  – that’s OK! You gotta start somewhere. And here are a few helpful hints....

Just read this study from Dr. Jinger Gottschall about the benefits of push-ups, and how you can get from your knees to your toes in no time! A new study published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics explains that both the toe and knee variations of the push-up are worthwhile. The findings are very encouraging, explains Jinger Gottschall, Associate Professor at Penn State University. “We were able to demonstrate that the overall ratio of muscle activation in the upper body when you do a push-up on your knees or toes is actually the same. It shows that knee push-ups are a surprisingly valuable alternative if you cannot perform a push-up on your toes with proper technique.” 

What makes push-ups so good? Push-ups are much more than just an upper body exercise. 
  • They work the pecs, deltoids and triceps while strengthening the muscles of the core. 
  • On top of improved upper body definition push-ups build muscular endurance and create lean muscle mass that improves overall fitness and good health. 
  • When compared to the bench press, another popular chest exercise, push-ups provide more effective functional training. 
The Penn State University study participants generated 50 percent more activation in the abdominals during push-ups compared to bench press repetitions with parallel weight. The best push-up technique There’s no dispute that the most effective push-ups are push-ups on your toes, as they engage a greater amount of activation in the muscles of the upper body and core – demanding whole body integration. 

However, push-ups on your toes can be pretty challenging and many people, especially older adults or individuals new to exercise, cannot safely complete multiple push-ups on their toes. All too often the hips and neck are not aligned properly and consequently the risk of injury outweighs the rewards. “When people are struggling to lower themselves towards the ground in a toe push-up position, they shouldn’t give up or feel discouraged, says Gottschall. “We can now be confident that push-ups on your knees are an effective modification.” 

How to progress from knee push-ups to toe push-ups The good news is that if you do enough push-ups on your knees you’ll be up on your toes in no time. Bryce Hastings, Les Mills’ Head of Research and Technical Advisor agrees with Gottschall’s advice, saying once you are confident doing 16 push-ups on the knees, then you are ready to try push-ups on your toes. 

Stay Fit, stay healthy, and stay with me! Kia Kaha! Lisa 😊

Twitter: Fit4Urocks

Photo Source:

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!