2.17.2009 I am a huge fan of traditional forms of exercise, e.g. the good olâ€™ push-up. Truly a glorious strength-training move, the push-up can be performed anywhere at any time, gym or no gym, outside or inside. Muscles worked are the pectorales, deltoids and to a lesser degree your triceps, forearms and also the latissimus dorsi. There were times (1998 & 2008) when I could do 31 of these suckers (yes, off my knees), but now I can only do about 10 in a row without shaking (which is good though it means you're doing it right and gaining results). :(
The Bosu (Both Sides Utilized or Both Sides Up) push-up works similar muscles but adds in the element of balance, which increases abdominal and arm strength making it an excellent posture-enhancing move.
How to do a Traditional Push-Up
Kneel down on the floor and place your hands flat on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width apart. With your shoulders directly over your hands, straighten your arms in plank position. Move your feet back, placing your toes on the floor, so that your knees are off the floor and your legs are straight (if you cannot do a regular push-up, place your knees on the floor until you work up to the regular version).
At this point, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your anklesâ€”your body should remain straight throughout this exercise. Keep your head and neck in line with your body so that youâ€™re looking down toward the floor. Now youâ€™re in the starting position. In a controlled fashion, lower your body down toward the floor, bending your elbows, until your body is nearly touching the floor. Now, push your body up away from the floor, straightening your arms, until you have returned to the starting position.
How to do a Bosu Push-Up
With the bubble side of the Bosu down, place your hands on the outer edges of the flat platform, making sure they are directly under your shoulders. Always maintain a flat back and tight abs throughout this exercise. Descend until your chest is very close to the platform, and then slowly push back up.
I do about 3 sets of 8-10 reps, but if youâ€™re just starting out, try doing 2 or 3 sets of 2-3 and work your way up! If you canâ€™t do a regular push-up yet, do 3 sets of 5 â€œgirlâ€ push-ups until youâ€™ve worked your way up to the straight-legged version. I know it works because my mom went from doing 0 push-ups to 7 in the course of 3 monthsâ€”go mom!
And don't forget the most important part: keep breathing at all times; this may sound silly, but sometimes we forget