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Push-ups: You’re Doing Them Wrong April 21, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in General Exercise.
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Every now and then my yoga instructor says something that completely turns my world upside down. It’s usually something ridiculously simple that has me smacking my forehead and yelling “Son of a triptych!” (pardon my construction dust; I’m trying to clean up my language) for not realizing it myself a whole lot sooner.

This time, she made a comment about push-ups going in the wrong direction.

Son of a soap dish, she’s right! In what position does one generally begin a push-up? Plank. And what’s the first direction we go in? Not up. It’s called a freakin push-up, people, but we start by going down. So basically, the first thing we do is fail. We haven’t gone up, like the name suggests we should, right? So…FAIL. Rubber. Plucker. I hate failing.

Try this instead:

  • Start by laying on the ground on your tummy, forehead on the ground, arms along your sides, palms up, and the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Turn your toes under, and bring your knees up off the floor by engaging your quads and hamstrings. *
  • Bring your hands directly under your shoulders, palms to the ground, all five fingers pointing forward.
  • Aim your heels toward the wall behind you, aim your tailbone at your heels, and engage your core.
  • Raise yourself directly up into a plank position, keeping your legs, butt and back in the same line the whole way up.

Congratulations, non-failers! You just did a push up.

* If you are building toward strength, or you have a sensitive low back, you can do this push-up on your knees. Just keep those knees on the ground.

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